Preseason basketball is officially underway! Though the Dubs suffered a loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in their first-ever game at Chase Center, the squad had almost a week of practice going into Thursday’s preseason matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves
It may be just early October, but there is much to watch coming into the Warriors’ second preseason game. We have five reasons why Dub Nation should be hyped for Thursday’s matchup:
1. First 10,000 fans receive a giveaway item!
Nothing says “Welcome to San Francisco” quite like a cable car, and the first 10,000 fans at Chase Center on Thursday will receive a Dubs trolley car. Destination: 1 Warriors Way! Details and tickets can be found here.
2. Root-on the rooks
The Dubs rookies will look to carry their momentum from Saturday into Thursday’s matchup against the Timberwolves. Jordan Poole dropped 17 points including 4-of-9 from three-point range, while Eric Paschall added 11 points and three rebounds. Juan Toscano-Anderson (four points), a native of the Bay Area, also made his debut on the NBA hardwood in front of his hometown crowd. All three will continue to look for ways to compete with the seasoned vets to claim playing time for the squad. And speaking of competition…
3. Minutes at small forward still up for grabs
Alfonzo McKinnie drew the start at the small forward position for the Dubs in Saturday’s game and posted a solid line of seven points, six rebounds and two assists to go along with a block in 21 minutes. However, there remains some question as to how the minutes and rotation at the position will shake out. Paschall said he is willing to play the part, and there may be an opportunity for Marquese Chriss (eight points, six rebounds, four assists in 14 minutes Saturday) to slide over there. Toscano-Anderson and Glenn Robinson III (four points, three rebounds, two assists, one block) have played in that slot a majority of their careers, too.
Head Coach Steve Kerr spoke of the situation on Tuesday and said of the race for playing time: “It’s way to soon to talk about anything that’s going to happen Opening Night. We got to let Camp play out… They’re all competing, they’re all good players.” Keep watching who plays where and when; this competition is likely to heat-up Thursday.
4. Jordan Bell returns to the Bay Area
Former Dub Jordan Bell will make his first appearance since signing with Minnesota over the offseason. He stepped-up in a big way for the Warriors while the team dealt with injuries during last season’s playoffs, especially in the Western Conference Finals where he averaged a solid 6.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists while nabbing 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks in the team’s sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers. Dub Nation will be sure to welcome him back to the Bay Area when he steps onto the floor.
5. Who will fill in at center?
With Willie Cauley-Stein, Kevon Looney and Alen Smailagic rehabbing minor injuries, the Dubs are in search of help at the pivot spot. Omari Spellman started there Saturday, and other Dubs including Chriss and Paschall filled-in behind him. But how will newly signed Kavion Pippen fit in? Keep an around the paint to see how the Dubs’ bigs play and handle the opportunity to play at the five.
Get your tickets to Thursday’s matchup here. Remember: your ticket to the game is also your pass for a free ride on MUNI all day!