This wasn’t what was supposed to happen.
The superteam that is the Golden State Warriors was supposed to be the one doing the drubbing at home on Opening Night against the San Antonio Spurs. But instead, it was the Warriors who got walloped.
The Warriors will not start 24-0 or 36-0 at home, like they did last season.
If the Warriors win a title, they will do something never done before. Elias research notes that no eventual champ has lost by more than 25 points in a season opener.
They need to be together
When Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were both on the floor, the Warriors actually outscored the Spurs by one. The problems came when Golden State tried playing with one but not the other. They were outscored by 10 points when Curry was on the floor without Durant and outscored by 14 when Durant was on the court without Curry.
In fact, the Warriors were plus-5 when all four of their "Big 4" were on the court at the same time. They were outscored by 34 when any one of those players was off the court.
Leonard brings his best
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard scored 35 points, the most points in a season opener by a Spurs player since George Gervin scored 35 to open the 1981-82 season against the Kings. He was aided by Jonathon Simmons, whose 20 points off the bench were more than the Warriors reserves combined.
The Spurs drove the ball 42 times Tuesday and created 44 points. That would have been tied for the second-most such points allowed by the Warriors last season. Leonard created 21 points on 15 drives.
Did you know?
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is now 18-2 all-time in season openers. The 29-point margin of victory is the largest for one of his teams in a season opener. The win was the second-largest season-opening win in Spurs history (they won by 41 against the Mavericks to open the 1991-92 season).