What we learned as Warriors thrash Lakers in California Classic win


What we learned as Warriors thrash Lakers in California Classic win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors closed out the weekend portion of the California Classic summer league with a routine 92-68 thrashing of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Chase Center.

It was the second consecutive rout, following a 39-point win over the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Three Warriors scored in double figures, with Ethan Thompson pouring in 22 points, Daeqwon Plowden 18 and Mantas Rubštavičius adding 12.

Lakers first-round draft pick Dalton Knecht finished with a team-high 12 points. LA was without Bronny James, who was declared out before the game due to swelling in his left knee.

Here are three observations from a game in which Golden State dominated every quarter:

Vereen Auditioning Well In Summer League Vacuum

Warriors summer league head coach Anthony Vereen, who serves as a player-development coach under Steve Kerr with Golden State, is putting together a solid mini-resumé for something more.

He has gotten his players to put forth tremendous energy on defense, something not always evident among the Warriors last season.

The Lakers were limited to 25-percent shooting from the field, including 11.8 percent beyond the arc. This comes one day after the Warriors held the Miami Heat to 28.9-percent shooting from the field, including 25.8 percent from distance.

Yes, it’s the summer league, where desperation breeds hustle. Where every player is out to impress. But apart from a few sloppy moments, the defensive principles under Vereen were solid, particularly for a team that had practiced only twice.

Thompson And Plowden Seeking Two-way Consideration

Point guard Reece Beekman signed a two-way contract a few days ago. Pat Spencer spent last season on a two-way deal and could snag another. That leaves at least one more for the Warriors to fill.

Thompson and Plowden, both hyperactive wings, seemed to be in dual pursuit. Both showed well over the weekend with their ability to score but also playing prideful defense.

Thompson, 25, was Golden State’s leading scorer for the second consecutive game and this time grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds. The 6-foot-5 Oregon State alum scored 27 off the bench on Saturday and was in the starting lineup on Sunday.

In addition to his 14 points, Plowden, 25, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots. He uses his athleticism and 6-foot-6, 215-pound frame to attack the rim but also can shoot the 3-ball.

Knox II Still Chasing His Dream

Selected ninth overall by the New York Knicks in the 2018 NBA Draft, just ahead of Mikal Bridges and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – and 24 picks before Jalen Brunson – Kevin Knox II enters Year 7 hoping to shed his NBA futility.

The 6-foot-7 wing was traded by New York to Detroit, which traded him to Portland, which waived him 19 days after signing him. He went back to the Pistons, who three months later traded him to the Jazz, who waived him the next day.

Now it’s Golden State’s turn to give him a chance. Knox’s debut was semi-satisfactory: Seven points on 3-of-10 shooting, including 1-of-5 from deep, with five assists, four rebounds in 19 minutes.

His greatest visible asset was his desire and a willingness to pass.

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