At the end of the day, Golden State walked out of Detroit with a win.
Yes, they nearly blew a 20-point fourth-quarter lead. Yes, they missed a valuable opportunity to rest their key players, who just began a seven-games-in-11-days road trip. But starting the road trip 1-0 outweighs any concerns their road to victory may have caused.
MARK JACKSON: “We had some breakdowns at the end but, ultimately, we left here with a victory. I would rather learn in winning than learn in losing.”
To be sure, the 104-97 victory did produce concerns. You could pass the end of the game off as every-team-makes-a-run, but that would be a disservice to Golden State’s developing squad.
Multiple reasons led a 17-point lead with just over five minutes left becoming a three-point lead with just over a minute left. The Warriors got too comfortable taking jumpers. Detroit got hot (and the Warriors’ frantic scrambling on defense played right into that). And Golden State went small, again, and had no protection.
The Warriors made just enough plays to hang on. But that was against a pretty bad Detroit squad. What happens when they play good teams, like Brooklyn on Friday, Miami next Wednesday, Atlanta on Saturday. Even Charlotte on Monday won’t be easy in their own building.
So, the question is how do you view the win. Is it a good thing that the Warriors were able to hang on and tough one out, something they’ll probably have to do on the road a lot? Or was the victory overshadowed that the Warriors needed to survive a game they led by 20 points in the fourth quarter?
JARRETT JACK: “We just did not do a good job of putting the final nail in the coffin. There are teams that are going to be able to come back when we let them linger around and give them confidence. So when you are able to put away a team, especially in their building, you have to end it however you can.”
More on Wednesday’s victory …