Ugly Win Reveals Golden State Warriors’ Character


For the first time this season, Stephen Curry looked human. The reigning MVP has set such a high bar to start the 2015 season that it is almost shocking when he ONLY scores 24 points in a game. It is unrealistic to expect that Curry can maintain his sublime form throughout the entire season, which was evident Saturday night. Preeminent roster depth and strong defense led the Golden State Warriors to victory over the Sacramento Kings.

Curry turned the ball over six times, a season high, and only had three assists, tying a season low. He only shot 44 percent on field goals and 20 percent from three-point range. He did not make his first three-pointer until the 5:43 mark of the fourth quarter. It was an ugly performance from Curry and the rest of the Warriors. However, the win revealed character that is essential to have in a title-defending run.

The start was uncharacteristic, scoring only 20 points in the first quarter. They were 1-10 from behind the three-point line. The lone make came from Andre Iguodala. The rough start did not deter the Warriors from their free shooting style, as they continued to try and provide a much-needed spark with the deep ball. They attempted 29 more three-pointers over the final three quarters and only made seven of them. Harrison Barnes finished 0-7 and Draymond Green finished 0-3, the poor shooting performance was not limited to Curry.

Similar to the role that he played in the NBA Finals, Iguodala provided a salient spark off the bench. He scored 14 points and finished with a plus/minus of 23. The +23 statistic speaks volumes to the role that Iguodala played while on the court. His energy on both ends was clearly visible, grabbing six rebounds and four steals to complement 14 points.

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Of all the starters, Green provided a similar spark to that of Iguodala. He struggled offensively but brought his usual intensity to the defensive end. He simply looked like he wanted it more than anyone else on the court, fighting for every loose ball and making life as hard as possible on the Kings’ offense.

Both players made a significant influence on the stat sheet. What can’t be recorded is the energy level that they brought on the defensive end of the court. They made life difficult on the Kings’ offense by pressuring and getting into passing lanes, which was especially evident as the game was coming to a close.

It is worth noting that both teams played a game the night before, meaning that fatigue contributed to the sloppy nature. The Kings hosted the Rockets and the Warriors entertained the Nuggets. The fact that the Warriors had to travel to Sacramento is hardly a disadvantage. The distance between the two arenas is just over 91 miles.

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The Sacramento Kings are hardly of the same caliber team that the Warriors have played against so far this year. They are 1-6 and are currently in last place in the Pacific Division. However, they succeeded in containing the premier offense in the NBA like no other team has this year. Perhaps it was fatigue, or the inevitable drop-off that was expected after such a strong start to the season. Regardless, the Warriors have proven that they are capable of winning ugly. Without the usual dominance of Curry or Klay Thompson, the depth of the Warriors roster picked up the slack and demonstrated that the Warriors can win in many ways.