The Golden State Warriors kicked off their title defense on Saturday, and it did not end well for them. After a hard-fought encounter against De’Aaron Fox and the Sacramento Kings, the Dubs came out on the wrong end of a 126-123 loss. After watching his team succumb in the series opener, Steve Kerr already knows what went wrong.
Coach Kerr conceded that his team took some ill-advised shots. However, the four-time NBA champion shot-caller does not believe that this was what led to Golden State’s disappointing Game 1 loss. According to Kerr, it was Sacramento’s offensive rebounds as well as Malik Monk’s free throws that caused the Warriors’ demise (h/t Anthony Slater of The Athletic):
Here’s an extended Steve Kerr breakdown of the Game 1 loss. Mentioned the Kings’ 17 offensive rebounds, Malik Monk’s 14 free throws as two killer stats. pic.twitter.com/hus3pfUPOz
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 16, 2023
One-third of Sacramento’s 50 rebounds on the evening came on the offensive end. Steve Kerr knows that his team can’t give up that many offensive rebounds, and this is definitely something they will be working on for Game 2.
Moreover, the Warriors were not able to play honest defense throughout the game, particularly on the Malik Monk front. The 6-foot-3 shooting guard was aggressive from the get-go, and he made the Dubs pay. Monk’s relentlessness on the offensive end paid off handsomely for the Kings, with Monk being rewarded with no less than 14 free throws in the game. He’s shooting a career-high 88.9 percent from the charity stripe this season, and true enough, Malik made all 14 of his freebies against the Warriors on Saturday night.
Coach Kerr appears to already have a blueprint for the Warriors as they prepare for Game 2 on Tuesday. It’s not exactly a must-win game for Golden State, but another loss will put them at a clear disadvantage against the Kings.
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