3 Main Takeaways from Warriors Preseason Game 2


Wow- what a preseason game! Stars were out on both sides, with Lebron, AD, Steph, CP3, Wiggins, and Klay all out on the court at the same time. Despite the close score and the Warriors' Dub, those are not the main takeaways, as the Warriors primarily won the game when the stars were out of the game (with Lebron in street clothes eating dinner on the sidelines). Anyways, here are the three main takeaways from NBA Warriors Preseason Game 2, providing an outlook on the possibilities of the Warriors' 23-24 season.  

1. Chris Paul?

Chris Paul was supposed to provide more stability, smartness, and a slowed pace to the Warrior's offense. For the most part, that was the case. With the Splash Bros' off-ball movements, Chris was generally able to find them for open shots, whether it was off a curl, a backdoor screen, or even PNR actions. However, some unexpected, un-CP3-like things happened during the game: 5 turnovers, 3 of which came from Austin Reeves's instincts when Paul was trying to find Wiggs and Steph off a curl. Also, his defense was quite lackluster, with multiple players such as DLo and Reeves driving and finishing on him with ease. Being a defensive liability if somewhat expected of a 6'0 38-year-old, but the turnovers? Not so much. Warriors fans don't have to expect 5 turnovers to be a regular occurrence, though, given the fact that Paul is one of the leaders in NBA history when it comes to total assists and overall assist-to-turnover ratio. However, in the next few games, I, alongside other analysts and fans, would like to see Chris help out the second unit. Paul's biggest presumed role was to help out JK, Moody, Saric, and the second unit, and so far, in these two games, he's mainly played with the starting core- seeing how Paul operates within the second unit could provide a better snapshot of the abilities he's able to bring to the court, as he'll have the keys to the offense in those scenarios. 

2. Jonathan Kuminga Szn?

Following a debut performance with 24 points in 23 minutes, JK dropped 26 points in 27 minutes on 75% from the field and 60% from three, all while leading the Warriors bench on a comeback to secure the Dub. Despite the stellar offensive performance, showcasing a mix of aggression, finishing, threes, and even a beautiful cross-jab on Bron, beat writers like NBC Bay Area's Dalton Johnson and I are still looking for more, particularly on the glass and on defense. Perhaps it was because it's preseason, but Kuminga at times, especially near the end of the game, seemed to primarily be focused on the offensive side, calling for the ball and being aggressive; yet, on the defensive end, he seemed a bit lackadaisical and frankly, lazy. There was also this poor defensive play on Lebron to end the half, but in my opinion, Kuminga was actually showing some grit on the defensive end and was just a bit overzealous- that's more tolerable than not showing any defensive heart at all. Again, it might just be because it was the end of a, frankly, useless game, but still, we'd like to see more defensively, especially given his tools and athleticism. Coach Kerr has said that Kuminga's key to minutes is crashing the glass, and any 3-rebound games, despite a 26-point performance, may be viewed in a negative light going forward. 

3. Brandin Podziemski is Looking Tough

Probably the biggest surprise of the season so far: Brandin Podziemski. After a poor Summer League performance, where plenty of Warriors fans were counting him out, he's come into the season with two beautiful performances. Game 2 in particular showed his versatility- as a shooter, defender, rebounder, and playmaker. With 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 10 assists, he seems to have fit Donte's role perfectly as a scrappy, hustle-first, rebounding, smart guard. However, his biggest trait, his basketball IQ, was on full display, despite it not fully showing up in the box score. Making the right cuts, finding the right teammates, passing to correct players, and having a myriad of "hockey assists"- those are the winning plays that Coach Kerr desires. It's safe to say at least 7 players are etched into the rotation thus far: Steph, Klay, Dray, Wiggs, Loon, CP3, and Gp2, with Kuminga, Moody, and Saric on the cusp. With the way Podziemski has been performing, coupled with the hustle and intangibles he brings as a guard, I genuinely would not be surprised to see Podziemski having a solidified rotation spot at some point in the season, especially when an injury occurs. This 19th pick is looking absolutely stellar right now. 

The next Warriors' preseason game will be on Sunday, October 15, against the Kings- a rematch of the first round. Catch the game on ESPN or NBC Sports Bay Area, and as always, stay tuned for upcoming All Things Warriors posts!

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