Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) takes a shot during the second half of their game against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena in Oakland Calif. on Sunday November 13, 2016. Warriors beat the Suns 133-120. (Aleah Fajardo/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) takes a shot during the second half of their game against the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena in Oakland Calif. on Sunday November 13, 2016. Warriors beat the Suns 133-120. (Aleah Fajardo/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors battle with ‘human nature’ against subpar foes

OAKLAND — It was a lazy Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.

On paper, the Golden State Warriors blew out the Phoenix Suns, 133-120.

But a closer examination would reveal a Dubs team that coasted on defense for most of the contest. The Suns are a young team destined for the lottery and they were playing a night after a taxing, fast-paced home game. In other words, they were supposed to be exposed. Embarrassed. Smoked.

The narrative crafters will argue that the Dubs are playing arrogantly, determined to outgun their opponents instead of playing a full game on both sides of the floor.

But when you have three players capable of scoring 30 points apiece on any given night — as Golden State would’ve done if Kevin Durant (29 points) could’ve made his last attempt to join Stephen Curry (30) and Klay Thompson (30) — these November games become more of a battle against “human nature,” as Curry put it after the game.

“Defense is energy,” Draymond Green explained. “… I’m really big on energy. If you don’t bring energy, it’s hard to be focused and locked in. All that stuff goes hand in hand. I think tonight or today — whatever it is now — guys weren’t locked in and that’s on all of us. We talked about it and these are the types of games you have to win.”

It’s too early in the season to sound the alarm about defensive effort. At this time of year, the most important thing is beating the teams you should beat. Which is exactly what happened against the Suns.

What is clear, though, is that the Warriors don’t need a traditional big man to beat subpar teams. Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee combined for 15 minutes and the Dubs pulled away with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Shaun Livingston, Durant and Green.

There will be many nights this season when Golden State’s sheer talent will carry them past teams.

To borrow one of head coach Steve Kerr’s favorite phrases this season, that’s a good problem to have.

Just Posted

Dreamforce returned to San Francisco in person this week – but with a tiny sliver of past attendance. (Courtesy Salesforce)
Dreamforce returns with hundreds on hand, down from 170,000 in the past

High hopes for a larger Salesforce conference shriveled during the summer

The numbers show nearly 14 percent of San Francisco voters who participated in the Sept. 14 recall election wanted to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom from elected office. (Shutterstock photo)
(Shutterstock photo)
How San Francisco neighborhoods voted in the Newsom recall

Sunset tops the list as the area with the most ‘yes’ votes

Alison Collins says that she and other members of San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education facing potential recall “represent constituents that are often erased or talked over.” <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Alison Collins speaks: Embattled SF school board member confronts the recall effort

‘It’s important for folks to know what this recall is about. It’s bigger than any one of us.’

Is the Black Cat incident a distraction from the recovery of The City’s storied nightlife industry or does Mayor London Breed’s behavior inadvertently highlight the predicament the industry’s been in since San Francisco reinstated indoor mask requirements on Aug. 20?<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner, 2021)</ins>
Club owners to maskless mayor: Are we the new fun police?

Black Cat affair highlights difficult recovery for nightlife industry

BART’s Powell Street station in The City was the site of a fatal accident on Sept. 13.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Powell Station death serves as a grim reminder. BART doors don’t stop for anyone

What you need to know about safety sensors on the trains

Most Read