The Golden State Warriors will head back to the bay area 2-2 after the team’s grueling four game road trip. After starting the season 0-2, it seemed like the Warriors season was over before it even started. But after the team’s impressive 116-106 victory over the Pistons, it appears the Warriors might be hitting their stride.
Here are my 3 takeaways.
Wiggins Has Most Productive Night Since Joining GS
Andrew Wiggins played a terrific game against the Pistons. He posted 27 points while shooting 47% from the field. He led the team in rebounds (7), and exploded for 17 points and two blocks in the fourth quarter, helping the Warriors seal a much needed victory. But most importantly, he was able to carry the offense when Stephen Curry and Kelly Oubre were off the court. An element the team has been missing through the first three contests. There is no doubt that Wiggins is the Warriors #2 option in Steve Kerr’s offense, and him shooting the ball consistently is essential to the Warriors success. With that being said, this game should give Wiggins a confidence boost moving forward.
The Warriors Fail to Crash Defensive Glass
The Warriors effort on the defensive glass was awful despite their outstanding energy on the defensive side of the ball. James Wiseman picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter and was forced to sit a majority of the half. And let’s just say, the Pistons took advantage of that opportunity. In fact, they had a field day on the offensive boards against Kevon looney and Eric Pashcall (16/4). In the first quarter alone, the Warriors were out-rebounded 8-1 on the offensive glass, and gave up 10 second chance points because of it. The Warriors were able to generate missed shots, but their lack of intensity rebounding the ball is what kept the Pistons in the game. Despite holding them to just 38% shooting. Becoming a top-10 defense this season was one of the team goals the Warriors highlighted this season. If they want to achieve that goal, they have to commit to crashing the glass and limiting second chance points.
The Bench Comes Up Big
The Warriors bench situation has been one of the biggest question marks surrounding the team this season. Steve Kerr made it clear last week that it would take about 20 games to figure out his rotation. Tonight he may have found the winning formula. Damion Lee, Brad Wanamaker, Eric Paschall, and Kevon Looney provided productive minutes off the bench and were able to extend the lead with the starters on the bench. They all finished close to double digit points, besides Paschall, who led the second unit with 10 points. The Warriors success will be largely impacted by the performance of the second unit. Unlike years past, the Warriors don’t have the luxury of having multiple all-stars to split up the scoring load. With that being said, I fully anticipate Kerr sticking with a similar rotation against the Portland TrailBlazers on Friday night.