OK. So it's very difficult for me not to get too excited for the first game of the season. I keep telling myself that it was just an exhibition game, but there was just too much about this first game to get amped for: Who are the starters? Who plays point? Do we finally have big men? Who replaces Lazar? Will Vander be as good as he is billed to be?
I think we got a few answers today, but making any conclusions on 1 exhibition game would be foolish. Here's what I did take from the game today.
1) Jae Crowder looked fantastic out there. Unlike what I expected, he has a very different style of play than that of Lazar. He seemed to post up much more than Lazar did, and he was more of an interior player than a wing player. He did take a couple of threes, but that's fine in my opinion. He also led the team with 15 points.
2) I thought Otule played very well today, when he was in the game. He did a good job posting up and was a beast on the boards. Granted, the team we played was very small, and didn't have an answer for Otule, but if he can stay healthy, I see him being an excellent compliment to our terrific backcourt.
3) Speaking of the backcourt, it was pretty ugly today. Early in the game, DJO was very aggressive taking it to the basket, and had a good amount of points early. Buzz eventually took him out of the game, I think to give the newcomers a shot, and after he came back wasn't nearly as aggressive. He also missed both his 3's today, so I hope his shot comes back soon. Buycks started at point guard, and looked pretty mediocre today. He took some bad shots (a foot or two inside the arc is a shot that should only be taken with the shot clock winding down) and didn't seem to really get the offense going. Vander looked somewhat nervous today, and only had one field goal, in transition. His defense was rock solid though.
4) Davante Gardner should not run the floor with the ball. Ever
5) Reggie Smith was very impressive. As expected, he is incredibly quick, and has great court vision. He had 7 assists to no turnovers. I have to say I was disappointed not to see Junior play more. After earning the MVP in the Pro-Am, I expected more from him. He rode the bench for the majority of the first half, and didn't see much action in the second either.
6) Erik Williams was as average as last season. Who knows what happens with him
7) Jimmy was 5-10 from the free throw line. That needs to get better. Other than that he was typical Jimmy.
Overall, it was great to see the Warriors play again. The student section was pretty full, and there was a good turnout in the rest of the arena as well. I don't expect to see the same starting lineup throughout this season, especially Buycks at point. I'm glad Otule started, he'll be great to have for tip-off.
Basketball season is upon us! It's going to be a great year!