Basketball’s preseason is primarily about young players trying to make a name for themselves and those vying for roster places on the back end. To start Saturday’s opening, a 125-108 Warriors victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, all eyes were on a point guard who is 38 years old.

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Warriors’ chris paul

The Warriors’ supporters welcomed Chris Paul with open arms, and he instantly demonstrated what they can expect from him this season. Paul filled up the box score by playing 13 minutes, all of which came in the first half. In his debut game wearing a Warriors uniform, the pass-first point guard finished with six points, five assists, and four rebounds.

In the starting lineup, he was joined by Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney. Curry (eight points) and Thompson (10 points), who each played 13 minutes, combining for a total of 18 points. Thompson was urged to prioritize grabbing rebounds and smashing the boards, and he finished with four, which is basically what he averaged last year.

Both Austin Reaves and LeBron James were unavailable for the Lakers.

Here are three things to remember from the Warriors’ first preseason game.

Paul quickly shown the sort of instant influence he will have on the Warriors’ offense. His first shot, did he try? a memorable mid-range jump shot that scored two points. His initial support? That resulted from Looney stealing the ball, pushing the tempo, and finding Curry for a fastbreak 3-pointer.

13 Warriors points came through Paul’s five assists. Three of his five assists—two by Curry and one by Wiggins—led to 3-pointers, giving Curry a total of three made baskets.

It’s possible that his role won’t be the same as it was in his first game for his new team when the Warriors are completely healed. But on the court, it’s obvious how much more dependable the minutes without Curry should be with the ball in Paul’s hands thanks to the additional preparation time Paul and Curry have been putting in.

Warriors

Following a lackluster summer league performance, concerns and questions surrounded the Warriors’ first-round selection decision. In his preseason debut, Podziemski reduced the stress despite being surrounded by NBA superstars.

When Podziemski gets his bearings in the pros, Steve Kerr said at the pregame news conference that he would “connect lineups” and lauded his sense of the game. With six minutes left in the first quarter, Podziemski initially checked in, and it wasn’t long before Kerr’s evaluation was visible. Podziemski got four points off of two deft layups in the first quarter alone. He also had one steal, one assist, one rebound, and one charge.

Podziemski won’t have to carry as much weight as he did as a sophomore at Santa Clara, but he still has the potential to make a variety of contributions if given the chance, as he did in his last season in college. In his 26 minutes of action, he finished with five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block in addition to 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Podziemski also dived for stray balls and grabbed Jalen Hood-Schifino of the Lakers full-court.

After a bumpy summer league, Podziemski’s strong debut performance should help reduce the strain.

Effective Second Unit

After the first six or more minutes of the first and second quarters, Kerr rolled out a predetermined rotation with Paul in the starting lineup and Draymond Green recovering from an injured left ankle. To join Wiggins, Podziemski, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, and Dario “ari” entered. Both times, Wiggins was swiftly replaced by Gary Payton II.

After routinely sharing the field in scrimmages prior to Saturday night, that bunch appeared to be at ease with one another. The acquisition of Green and even Cory Joseph will alter the situation, but Kerr was hoping for more connectedness in the second unit.

The Warriors are hoping that Kuminga and Moody both have strong third years. Kuminga led the Warriors with 24 points on 8 of 14 shooting, while Moody finished second with 15 points. They also pulled down 13 rebounds in total, with Kuminga contributing eight and Moody adding five.

Warriors

There were several advantages from the Warriors’ inaugural preseason triumph, from the veterans to the young players.

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