Before the regular season started, so many people were under the belief that the Golden State Warriors were going to run roughshod through the NBA on their way back to the finals for a rematch against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many of those people were brought back down to earth on opening night when the San Antonio Spurs dominated the Warriors. Against the Phoenix Suns, Golden State barely managed to get by with a 106-100 victory, as reported by ESPN.
Golden State Warriors Starters
Kevin Durant had 37 points and Stephen Curry had 28 points. The combined 65 points were what Golden State Warriors fans had envisioned when the franchise surprised the NBA by acquiring the services of the former Oklahoma City Thunder superstar in free agency this past summer. When Curry and Durant put up numbers like that, then there are very few teams in the National Basketball Association that are going to be able to keep up with Golden State.
Klay Thompson had a decent game with 16 points and six rebounds. However, his stats would have been much better had he not missed all six of the three-point shots that he took. Nights like this are extremely rare, so the Golden State Warriors should not be too concerned about their starting shooting guard.
Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined for ten points, 23 rebounds, 13 assists, and three blocks.
Golden State Warriors Bench
Much has been made about the Golden State Warriors sacrificing their depth for the sake of bringing in a superstar like Kevin Durant. Against the Phoenix Suns, their backup players did not produce much. A lot of that was because Steve Kerr relied so heavily on his five starters. Andre Iguodala was the only bench player that was allowed to be on the court for more than 20 minutes.
It is interesting to note that veteran forward David West was only given eight minutes of playing time by the Golden State Warriors.
James McAdoo, Anderson Varejao, and JaVale McGee were kept on the bench by Steve Kerr. The Warriors preferred to go with smaller lineups.
Phoenix Suns Starters
Against the Golden State Warriors, TJ Warren decided that he wanted to take over the offense. The youngster apparently wanted to prove something to the NBA. Warren put up 26 points and six rebounds, which is pretty impressive. The 6-foot-8 forward was also pretty efficient, as he hit 10 of his 21 shots from the field, two of his five shots from outside, and nailed all four free throws.
One of the concerns for the Golden State Warriors was that they gave up size in order to bring in Kevin Durant. Tyson Chandler might have proven that point to be true because the veteran center turned back the clock and pulled down 18 rebounds. That might be something that the Warriors will need to focus on if they want to get back to the NBA Finals.
Eric Bledsoe quietly had an all-around game against the Golden State Warriors. He produced 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists. If he can do that consistently, then the Phoenix Suns can sneak into the NBA Playoffs.
Phoenix Suns Bench
There wasn’t a lot of production from the Phoenix Suns’ bench. Brandon Knight was given 26 minutes, but he missed nine of the dozen shots that he took from the field. The veteran guard had three assists, but those were negated by the three turnovers that he had. Backup center Alex Len might have earned himself some more playing time by pulling down eight rebounds and blocking three shots. The 23-year-old just needed to shoot better.
[Featured Image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]