No Stephen Curry, no Draymond Green, no Klay Thompson, no Andrew Wiggins added up to no chance for a Warriors victory Monday night in New Orleans.
Overmatched from the start, falling behind 10 in the first six minutes and by 24 after 11 minutes, the Warriors absorbed a 128-83 beating by the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.
Four Warriors (8-10) scored in double figures, led by 26 points from Jordan Poole and 18 from Jonathan Kuminga.
On the whole, this was about as bad as the Warriors can look. They had almost twice as many turnovers (27) as assists (16).
Here are three observations from four starters watched in street clothes and the fifth, Kevon Looney, played only five minutes:
Warriors play Santa
Christmas might be 34 days away, but the Warriors didn’t want to wait so long to get in the spirit of giving.
Then again, they were in New Orleans.
Golden State committed 27 turnovers, handing the Pelicans 31 points, eclipsing the previous season high of 23 turnovers the Warriors delivered in their first trip to the Big Easy in Nov. 4.
The Warriors wasted no time setting a charitable tone, committing seven giveaways in the first quarter, accounting for nine of the Pelicans’ 35 points in the first 12 minutes.
Most everybody got into the act, with rookie Ryan Rollins committing five in 16 minutes and Poole committing four in 27 minutes. Ten players took the court, and all by Looney committed at least two giveaways
The Pelicans, playing at near full strength, didn’t need any help. They got it anyway.
The flying Mr. Kuminga
Given the length, speed and athleticism of the Pelicans, this game figured to be one that suited the best attributes of Kuminga.
And the 20-year-old forward, in his second season, managed to showcase his gifts several times, serving up high-quality video highlights.
The first came in the second minute of the game, when the athletic marvel that is Zion Williamson grabbed a rebound and set sail for a coast-to-coast voyage sure to end with an easy bucket. Nope. Kuminga chased him down and slapped the shot off the backboard.
The second came late in the second quarter, when Poole’s 3-point shot bounced high off the rim. Kuminga, flying in from the wing, grabbed the ball with his right hand and jammed it through, with his hand narrowly missing the backboard.
JK finished with 18 points, three rebounds and a couple memorable moments.
Why not Wiseman?
While the NBA Golden State Warriors were frolicking in New Orleans, James Wiseman was toiling away in Salt Lake City with the G League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Insofar as the Warriors rested their starters, turning the game over to players in and out of the rotation, it would not have been illogical give Wiseman a few NBA minutes.
Asked before the game if there was any consideration for bringing Wiseman in for this game – rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins – coach Steve Kerr said there was not.
“No, not for tonight. We felt it was really important for him to get a really good stretch in Santa Cruz of practicing,” he said. “The practice is the big thing. When you get individualized attention, like the guys do in the G League, it’s easier to make more progress rather than the stops and starts that happen during the NBA season when you’re not in the rotation.”
It’s a rational explanation, on the surface, but would have more credibility if the Warriors had not summoned rookies Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Ryan Rollins from Santa Cruz on Sunday evening.