Warriors Defeat Kings on Opening Night


I’m stating the obvious here, but that was not good. This felt like a preseason game.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the Kings aren’t going to win when DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay shoot a combined 9-29. When Isaiah Thomas was on the roster, you could theoretically survive an occasional poor shooting performance from Gay and Cousins. The Kings no longer have that luxury.

It’s hard to find any silver lining in a 95-77 defeat at home on opening night, but I’m going to do my best.

Kings played solid defense for most of the game. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t why they lost. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson got their points, but the effort from Daren Collison and Ben McLemore was evident. They did the best they could. The Warriors only shot 22% from three, and still defeated the Kings by 18 points. It was a weird night, but I’ll take that kind of defensive effort. It’s a good step in the right direction.

DeMarcus Cousins struggled, and Andrew Bogut deserves a lot of credit for that. Bogut is one of the best interior defenders in the entire league, and has been for quite some time. I’m not going to give Cousins a complete pass for his poor play, but he’s supposed to struggle against Bogut. That’s why the Warriors pay him as much as they do. The Kings needed someone to step up in Cousins’ absence, but that never happened. Rudy Gay is supposed to be that guy, but the Toronto Raptors version of Rudy Gay showed up last night, and that player isn’t helping anyone.

I could spend another 3,000 words on Rudy Gay, but I’m not going to do that. The Kings need him to be better. His shot selection was poor throughout the preseason, and that has carried over into game one. I’m concerned.

The Kings shot just over 30% from the field. Only two players shot above 50% (Ryan Hollins and Carl Landry). You just can’t win like that. Add in the 27 total team turnovers, and that is a recipe for disaster. This wasn’t a complicated loss. The Kings just played bad basketball.

It’s only game one. Keep telling yourself that. There is a lot of basketball left to be played. Lets close this one out with a few quick notes.

  • Ramon Sessions was rock solid for most of the preseason, but he was one of the worst Kings last night. I don’t know what happened. He had four turnovers in ten minutes. His stretch in the second half was so poor I am convinced the Warriors traded for him at halftime.
  • Carl Landry looked like Carl Landry. That is only noteworthy because he hasn’t looked like himself in over a year. Lets hope he can stay healthy.
  • Nik Stauskas had a solid first half offensively, and a decent debut overall, but his defense needs a lot of work. McLemore couldn’t find his offense, but played surprisingly solid defense. This shooting guard battle is far from over.
  • Darren Collison played well. His stat line doesn’t look overly impressive, but his defense on Curry was solid, and it looked like he was really trying to run Malone’s offense. The Kings just couldn’t hit any shots.
  • Derrick Williams backed up Rudy Gay in the first half. Omri Casspi backed up Rudy Gay in the second half. I found that interesting enough to write down. We’ll see how that rotation evolves as the season rolls on.