The defending champion Golden State Warriors returned to the court last night as they took on the Denver Nuggets in their opening pre-season matchup.
The Dubs looked rusty for large parts and suffered a 108-102 loss in front of their home fans at Oracle Arena.
Both Steph Curry and Kevin Durant struggled shooting the ball as they went a combined 7-of-22 from the field.
Despite their problems, the Warriors were still able to show flashes of their brilliance with some highlight plays that will whet the appetite for the new season.
The most eye-catching play of the night came from Andre Iguodala who embarrassed new Nuggets big man Paul Millsap.
After Iggy saw the former Atlanta Hawks man switch onto him, he pulled off a sweet behind-the-back dribble that sent Millsap to the floor as if he was hit by a sniper.
The veteran small forward showed that his handles are tight and ready for the new campaign.
Millsap will not enjoy seeing highlights of this but is rather fortunate that it's just the pre-season and may soon be forgotten.
Despite the embarrassing fall, however, the Denver star did have the last laugh as he led his team to a win with a game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The four-time All-Star signed a three-year, $90 million contract with the franchise after spending four years with the Hawks and will be a key player for them this year.
For the Warriors, the loss was largely down to the inevitable rust that comes with being away for over three months.
This was evident in their biggest strength as they went 4-of-33 from three-point range.
“Hopefully we’ll shoot 5-for-33 next game instead of 4-for-33,” head coach Steve Kerr joked after the game. “You know, just get one better game by game.”
All-Star quartet Curry, Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green went 1-of-19 from beyond the arc.
“I just think we’re a really bad three-point shooting team,” Green said sarcastically. “We probably shouldn’t shoot those.”
Luckily for the champs, they have another three pre-season games in which to shake off the rust and get back to form ahead of the regular season.
They will kick off the defence of their championship with a tasty home encounter with the Houston Rockets who will be one of their biggest threats in the Western Conference this year.