The best part of of the Warriors’ 112-87 win over Dallas on Tuesday didn’t happen on the court. It happened just off of it, on the sidelines.
That’s where Kevin Durant almost jumped out of his seat to celebrate a David West dunk in traffic in the second quarter that nobody saw coming. Durant had accompanied the Warriors on their two-day trip to Oklahoma City and Dallas and sat on the bench both nights.
West took a nice feed from Shaun Livingston among a sea of bodies and started pivoting to gain an advantage. Out of nowhere, West, 36 rose up and threw one down, sparking a big-time reaction from everyone. That bucket gave the Warriors a 32-25 lead.
Durant injured his knee in a game earlier this month against the Washington Wizards. The Warriors said he would be re-evaluated in four weeks, and he obviously will. But that didn’t stop Durant from shooting around before the game and he looked pretty pain free. His bench explosion sent the same message. It’s hard not to take all of that as a positive sign if you’re a Golden State Warriors fan.
Talking points from the game:
–The Warriors don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but one they do have is defending waterbug type guards. And Dallas has a few of them in Yogi Farrell, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris — not to mention Seth Curry, who might exactly fit the description but pretty close.
The problem the Warriors have is they don’t really have a natural defender for those kind of players. Curry isn’t quite quick enough defensively and neither is Ian Klay Thompson, Clark. Shaun Livingston and Patrick McCaw can give you length and size there, but will also concede a ton of dribble penetration.
All in all, though, the Warriors didn’t do a bad job defensively against them. Seth Curry had 10 points on 4-for-12, Yogi Farrell had 12 points on 4-for-10, Barea went 1-for-7 from the field and Harris had just eight.
—Draymond Green entered Tuesday’s game with 13 technical fouls. If he gets three more, he’ll be suspended for a game, and then another game for every two technicals that comes after. There’s a scenario out there in which Green would get his 16th technical foul late in the season and then must sit out a game with home-court implications. It’s a bad scenario, but it’s a scenario.
–Going back to the Warriors’ 111-95 win over Oklahoma City on Monday night, it struck me that it was one of the few times this season where they resembled the 2015-16 Warriors. That was the team, to refresh your memory, won 73 games and seemed to provide some kind of signature highlight-reel play each game.
It hasn’t been that way this year for the Warriors. Sure they’re winning, but it’s obvious they’re not having as much fun. They had fun Monday — like they used to have. And the signature play was back too: Stephen Curry’s 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer after a skirmish/jumpball situation. The bucket gave the Warriors a 20-point lead at intermission and Curry punctuated it all with a spring to the locker room after the ball went through the net.