For Warriors it could have been called Wild Goose Chase Center
12:56 AM
Art Spander

SAN FRANCISCO—Maybe they should call it Wild Goose Chase Center. The Warriors were looking for their locker rooms—no one left a trail of bread crumbs—and they were looking for their rhythm.

  Maybe they also were looking for Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, but unlike the rhythm they aren’t coming back.

  A new season—well, the prelude to a new season—and as everyone knows a new home, $2 billion Chase Center, on the edge of the Bay and a bit south of Oracle Park, where Saturday evening, the Dubs opened their exhibition season, getting  whumped by the Los Angeles Lakers, 123-101.

  The idea in exhibitions, we’re told, is not so much to win but to play everyone, especially the new kids—and the Warriors have a great many of them—to learn what they can or can’t do.

  But to start, Steve Kerr, about begin his sixth year as head coach, and quite probably his first without reaching the NBA finals, had to figure out where to go at the Chase after 47 years at the other Oracle (nee Oakland Coliseum Arena) across the Bay.

   “It’s a great building,” said Kerr, and certainly when you spend as much as was spent, it should be. “The place was packed,” (It was a sellout 18,064, which for those counting numbers is about 1,000 fewer than could pack Oracle Arena.)

“It seemed like everybody, including players, coaches and officials was looking around,” said Kerr. “Our first night here, and it just felt strange. We were used to Oracle

  “Before the game I didn’t know where to find my assistant coaches.”

  They were located. Unlike his offense.   

  Steph Curry was Steph Curry. That pro-am round with Phil Mickelson at the Safeway Open at Silverado in Napa, did nothing to hurt Steph’s overall accuracy, although he was just 1 of 5 on 3-pointers.  Curry, on court a shade under 18 minutes, ended up scoring a game-high 18.

“It’s still weird,” Curry said of playing at Chase. His historic first shot at Chase was perfectly planned, although not perfectly executed.  It was a 31-foot jumper that went maybe 31 feet, 6 inches

   “(The shot) was choreographed Friday,” said Curry, “to christen Chase Center the right way. Obviously it was an air ball, but I thought it was fitting to take a wild shot to get the building right.”

Jordan Poole, the Warriors first pick in this summer’s NBA draft, from Michigan (28th overall) made 4 of his 9 3-point attempts and scored 17.

  Early on, however, nobody shot well for the Dubs, who were down 18 points, 27-9, eight minutes into the game.

    So, yes, it’s a glorified workout, a test to see how your team plays and matches up. But with LeBron James (14 points) and Anthony Davis (13) controlling the inside, there was a sense the Warriors are in trouble—and will be until Klay Thompson comes back in February.

  Klay was on the bench, in uniform, and when shown on the big screen received a deserved ovation but because of the knee injury incurred in the finals last June still is unable to compete or even run.

  D’Angelo Russell, who came in the trade for Durant from Brooklyn, started where Klay would have been, at the other guard spot, and had  just 4 points.

 “For the most part,” said Curry of Russell joining him in the backcourt, “it’s getting him used to when we don’t call plays. It’s our second nature. Our reads, spacing and overall expectations. I told him there’s nothing he needs to change about the way he plays.”

 If there is anything Poole or Eric Paschal, the 6-foot-7 forward from Fordham, selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, need to change it wasn’t apparent.

  “I thought they both played well,” said Kerr of Poole and Paschal.”They both showed their skill and ability. Jordan, obviously, we drafted him for his ability to put the ball in the basket. You can see his confidence,”

  Poole was asked to reflect on his first—albeit unofficial—NBA game of what very well could be a long career. “It’s insane,” he said of the movement. ‘Especially coming from the Big Ten, where everybody just kind of sits at the elbow. There’s a lot of length and a lot of speed and quickness.”

 Let us communicate with Draymond Green about the building (Chase) and the Warriors rebuilding

  “Nothing,” said Green when asked who or what stood out. “Nice arena. But it’s still a basketball court though.”

    No argument here.

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