Golden State Warriors tip off new season

Marissa Marshall,
Staff Writer

The NBA is finally back and the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors are back to defend their title.

With all the crazy offseason moves made by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder, the new NBA season has fans excited about all the changes. Excitement poured out of fans as they entered Oracle Arena on Saturday to see the 2017 NBA champs, as they returned for their first game back since winning the championship back in June.

The Warriors faced the Denver Nuggets in their first preseason game of the season on Saturday.

Preseason is generally not taken too seriously in the NBA, it’s more of a chance for players to get a feel for each other again and figure out substitution rotations for new players on the team. It also gives coaches a chance to figure out what can potentially work in terms of line-ups and what won’t.

The reigning champs obtained a few new players in the offseason. The new additions include their only 2017 draft pick, 6-foot-9-inch forward, Jordan Bell from the University of Oregon who averaged 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in his final year with the Ducks.

Bell will battle for backup forward and center minutes with last years first round pick, Damian Jones.

Another player the Warriors added in the offseason was free agent and veteran shooting guard Nick Young, also known as Swaggy P, a nickname he earned during his time in Los Angeles. The ex-Laker averaged 13.2 points last year, hitting over 40 percent of his three-pointers and shot 58.8 percent from the field.

He will be a great role player for the Warriors, a spot up shooter, which will make the three-point specialist Warriors even more dangerous.

“It’s a family feel,” Young said in a press conference on Warrior’s media day on Sept. 22. “They let you be you and you don’t have to worry about anything but basketball.”

In their first matchup versus the Nuggets, the Warriors lost 108-102. The team went an uncharacteristic 4-for-33 from behind the three-point line and star point guard Stephen Curry led the team with just 11 points. This is what preseason is, the team hasn’t played together as a unit since June, so it isn’t shocking the game panned out this way.

Starters Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, Green, center Zaza Pachulia, and small forward  Kevin Durant all sat on the bench in the fourth quarter, which highlighted just how unimportant a preseason game really is. Starters never sit on the bench in the regular season late in games.

One thing that was probably taken more seriously than the preseason was the Warriors new Nike Jerseys. The NBA switched from their apparel partnership with Adidas to a new partnership with Nike back in June due to Adidas contract being up, so every NBA team has entirely new apparel.

In this new partnership, the Warriors now have new Oakland-themed jerseys, which will be worn for most home games, and a select few road games. The jerseys are black with “The Town” planted on the front of the jersey over a circle of the City of Oakland tree logo, with yellow and white lining on the sides.

It will be great seeing Oakland represented as Golden State carries through the season against other teams, other super teams in specific. Durant’s decision to join the Warriors last year seemingly ignited other forces to come together, to beat them.

Over the summer former Indiana Pacer guard slash forward Paul George and former New York Knick Carmelo Anthony both joined the Oklahoma City Thunder with reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook. Former Los Angeles Clipper, Chris Paul joined forces with James Harden and the Houston Rockets.

The Cleveland Cavaliers also made moves. Point guard Derrick Rose signed with the Cavs, looking to revitalize his career. Soon after, Kyrie Irving was traded for Boston Celtics Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder. Then Dwyane Wade agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls and reunited with Lebron James.

It’s safe to say, Cleveland will be a true threat with all this star power.

The moves will give Golden State a harder challenge throughout the season, especially in the playoffs. It won’t be a walk in the park like last year, teams are ready to beat the Warriors and Golden State can’t just depend on their superb offense.

Defense will be huge.

There’s no doubt the Warrior’s will have another great season, especially when you have Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry on the same team, but there isn’t a clear-cut path for them anymore. They will be challenged and these new teams can and will compete with them.

It’s going to be an exciting season.