1) The Warriors are as deep as we thought – maybe even deeper
At the start of the season I was telling friends that the 2017-18 Warriors could be the best team of all time. Not in terms of record per se (I don't think they’ll go for >73 wins), but as a top to bottom lineup. Most teams have a couple of guys at the end of the bench whom they’d never play, guys who just take up roster space and become really highly paid cheerleaders (I’m looking at you Jack Haley). But this Warriors team from 1-15, is really a different beast.
- Jordan Bell
- Swaggy P
Look at that roster! Those are all legit NBA players. Some would be starters, super-subs, or rotation players on lesser teams in the league. Granted, Damian Jones is a project shuttling back and forth from the G-League, but with Looney solidifying his spot as not the last guy at the end of the bench, he might be the best 15th man in NBA history. Maybe there were some old cagey vets who ended their careers as the 15th man, but I’ll give Jones the nod because of his youth and (so far, untapped) potential.
When Draymond got ejected, the fact that David West and Casspi picked up the slack should come as no huge surprise. Those guys are and always have been excellent NBA players. West, of course, reached all-star level, and Casspi has always been a valuable commodity who could ignite at any moment. Looney was a bit of a surprise, but he’s always shown signs. If you watch any of his pre-hip injury highlights, the guy clearly has skills. It’s just that his body’s always failed him. Fingers crossed that he continues to improve. He seems like a good kid.
Did I mention Jordan Bell wasn’t even active for this game?!! And they still had enough firepower off the bench? Now that’s the definition deep.
2) Kelly Oubre Jr. likes fighting a bit too much
Oubre totally came into the Draymond-Beal hugging match looking to hit someone. It’s been well documented on social media that he flew in, smacked John Wall on the back of the head (he’s lucky he mostly grazed him than hit him squarely), then took a couple swings at Klay, the nicest guy in the league who was just trying to break up the fracas. I hope the league reprimands Oubre in some way. I don’t know if he should be suspended (though I wouldn’t mind it), but the NBA should definitely take some action that tells him, “Yo, Kelly-Kel, we saw that.” After his push fight with Kelly Olynyk in last year’s playoffs, I anticipate some type of punishment to be forthcoming.
3) Warriors jumping into the fray
It’s always great to see teammates having each other’s backs, in particular Klay and KD. I watched the clip over and over again because it was good to see playground instincts click. KD turns and just tosses the ball behind him and runs in. Klay turns, sees Draymond in a skirmish, and literally sprints into the action. I feel like old Klay may have kind of sauntered up or tried to stay back, but he was like “hell no” and was the first Warrior player there. Yes, they were the two closest to the action, so of course they were there first, but there’s something about the bond of teammates that’s extremely satisfying. Maybe it’s just human nature. Maybe I just miss team sports.
4) The Wizards keep Wizzing
This is the first time I’ve watched two Washington Wizards games in a row. I watched them talk big and act tough and cough up a big lead and lose to the Lakers, then I watched them talk big and act tough and cough up an even bigger lead and lose to the Warriors. This is their M.O. This is who they are. In an even weaker Eastern Conference, the fact that they’re likely a top 3 or 4 seed is foul. In the west, they’d be lucky to be the 8th seed.
These teams would all be ahead of them:
Then I’d argue it’d be a toss up between the Grizzlies, Blazers, and Wizards for the final Western Conference playoff spot. And the way the Grizzlies have been playing to start this season, I’d put them down as the favorite.