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The Black Falcon Lights It Up in Summer League Debut

LAS VEGAS — A couple hours before his summer league debut, Warriors rookie forward Harrison Barnes was asked how many points he thought he’d score. Mustering a slick smile, he said he’d “see” if he could get 20.

Try 23. Barnes did what he does best Friday — score — as the Warriors’ summer league squad blew past its Los Angeles Lakers counterpart 91-50. And it didn’t look too hard for the No. 7 overall pick.

“I was talking to coach Mark Jackson, and he was telling me to be aggressive, so I was trying to do the best I can,” Barnes said. “Whatever you do, he said, do it aggressively.”

The Warriors squad, coached by Golden State assistant Pete Myers, dominated the Lakers largely because of a smothering defensive effort. The Lakers shot 27.1 percent and turned it over 19 times in a 40-minute contest.

The Warriors’ swarming defense led to fluid offense. And, believe it or not, Barnes’ productive night was overshadowed by the flashy performance of Warriors’ second-year guard Klay Thompson.

Coming off a week of practicing against Team USA, Thompson dominated with relative ease. In 23 minutes, he scored 24 points on 13 shots to go with six rebounds and five assists. But it was his outside shot that drew cheers from the packed Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. Thompson was 6 of 8 from 3-point range, making four in the second half.

“I’m playing next game,” Thompson said. “I would play all five if it was up to me.”

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he really doesn’t need to see Thompson in summer league. But Thompson said he wants to play to build chemistry with his new teammates. He and Barnes looked like an unguardable duo Friday.

Barnes scored multiple ways against the Lakers. He even attacked the rim, as if to answer his critics who say he doesn’t have that ability.

His first two baskets were contested layups in transition, including one he converted despite being fouled. A few minutes later, on another transition play, he skillfully threw his body into the soaring defender to ensure he’d at least get free throws.

Moments later, Barnes drove from the right wing trying to get to the rim. After being cut off, he pulled up for a contested one-hand floater, deftly dropping it in from about 12-feet.

By the end of the first quarter, he was walking into 3-pointers in transition. Barnes finished 8 of 14 shooting, knocking down all four of his 3-pointers, in 25 minutes.

“Great performance,” Warriors rookie Draymond Green, who had nine points and nine rebounds Wednesday, said of Barnes. “He shot the lights out. He got to the basket. He did some great things. … You know he has a lot of doubters. For him to come out and have that kind of performance, although it’s summer league, its good to have a great start.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Grey Warden

    I agree with MT2′s tweet that Jenkins needs to do more than just being a floor general. Dude needs to assert himself and score. Otherwise, he’s going to have to worry about being cut or not getting any playing time in the regular season.

    Tyler still needs a lot of work. He’s playing against scrubs and he’s not doing much.

  • Black Falcon

    Good start. Efficient games by Barnes, Klay and Draymond. Enjoyed play by Ezeli. But please tell Tyler to go watch the tape. Get some rebounds big guy. Why do you have to spoon feed these guys. His iso’s take too long to develop and not like he’s Barkley or Malone when he gets the ball. Quick hitters. Roll to the basket. I can think of at least twice a roll to the basket would have resulted in a basket. One time he rolled to late and the defense had collapsed. Another time someone else came from the side for the roll.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    After one sumer league game: Thompson’s confidence level is sky-high right now. He’s playing like an NBA all-star among some high school JV kids. Barnes looks very comfortable and has already established a rapport with Klay. Ezeli’s solid in the paint defensively, blessed with good instincts and Green does a little bit of everything well. Jenkins wasn’t impressive and Tyler, outside of two nifty moves, was a non-factor.

    Seeing Jarrett Jack sitting with David Lee makes me feel even better about that trade, which was already an absolute fantastic move.

    Now, if the Warriors are serious about contending, they MUST put in a bid for Luis Scola. He’d be the perfect back-up to Lee and can play alongside with him or Bogut. Having Scola off the bench at the 4/5 and Jack off the bench at the 1/2 to go along with guys like Rush or McGuire, Ezeli, Green, Jefferson would provide us with the depth we haven’t had since the 70′s. Adding Scola makes us a 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs. If we get Scola, we will have essentially changed everything about our team and organization from last summer.

  • Dave W

    @Harp’s Dubs and others – over the cap teams (like GS) CANNOT put in bids for Scola. In the unlikely event he clears waivers he’d take title contender’s MLE and not ours

  • Fire Bob Fitzgerald

    Tyler is looking like the odd man out to me.

    I completely agree re seeing Lee and Jack sitting in the stands together.

  • PhillyJ

    I like Justin Burrell out there. He’s got size and D and great athleticism.

  • whoRu

    so who was disappointed with Charles Jenkins?

  • Taylor

    We can’t get Scola bc we are over the salary cap have to be under to put bid on him. watched the first half of the game Klay was balling but the were scrubs and I agree with him that its good to get a rapport with Barnes, Green and maybe Jenkins will all be needed to get playing time with the Warriors if we want to contend for the playoffs. So them getting extra burn together is only a good thing. Ezeli is def raw on O and saw him miss a D rebound or two but he looks solid. Green I hope he can play the 4 if so he is going o be huge for us. Excited about our prospects this year probablly as much as after the We believe season.

  • alex in albany

    Observations ;

    Good thing we got Jack. Jenkins doesn’t have the traits that a good team needs from a backup PG.

    We desperately need to sign one of the offensively skilled. fa bigs. I like ojr rookies as projects, but we dont have a veteran 4/5 that can come in and score.

    Barnes is going to be good. Really good.

    Steph, Barnes and Klay comprise a toigh matchup for opposing tdams, and it is imperati e that we get another big who can get easy buckets off the help rotations.

    Ezeli is a helluva specimen, but if Bogut isn’t healthy he’s gonna be playing way too many minutes. He needs lots of seasoning.

    Draymond Green is a rich man’s Custodi.

    If either of the above two play major minutes this season, we’re in trouble.

    Oir starting five of Steph Klay Barnws Lee Bogut is nice on paper, but without health things could be disastrous.

    We need to sign Landry, Jamison.. not Kenyon Martin. Martin is too limited on offense.

    A healthy top 7 that includes Jack and Landry/Jamison makes the playoffs.

  • sperry

    “The Black Falcon”…. I really hope someone comes up with a better nickname soon.

  • Fraudy Tom

    how about the dark baller?

  • Jb in Cabo

    Barnes is going to be special. I’ve watched him for two years. North Carolina has always been a team that focuses on using the bigs as offensive pillars, not the guard,forward position. The nba is much more to Barnes liking. He will be a 20ppg player for years to come. He needs to work on his first step. If he does that think of a more athletic Kay Thompson who can get to the line like Dwayne wade.
    Don’t expect the warriors to make the playoffs next year, that’s asking a lot. Remember this is the first year many of the core guys have played together. There are health concerns, and the west has gotten better, not worse. Especially in the warriors own division. The following year, Kay is in yr 3 Barnes is in yr 2. And we will know what to expect from bogut. Playoffs are two years away. Realistically. As far as nick names for Barnes goes, call him The Promised One.