Warriors bench back to being a strength

OAKLAND – The Warriors’ “Strength in Numbers” campaign got a makeover. The black and gold switched to the traditional team colors. The cursive grungy font straightened and bolded with a tilt.


The new look was on display for Game 2. During a break in play, the Warriors rolled out a flag the size of the court promoting the team’s philosophy. Though many surmised as much when the Warriors dumped their supporting cast in pursuit of Kevin Durant, the “Strength in Numbers” movement isn’t over. It just looks a little different.

It looks like Patrick McCaw starting a playoff game, playing a team-high 35 minutes and making the decision to give Durant more rest look genius.

It looks like the trio of centers — Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West — combining for 33 points on 15 of 20 shooting.

It looks like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson struggling with their threes and the Warriors still leading by double digits.

It took some time to get here, but the Warriors bench is better. Which means they upgraded their starting lineup and still were able to upgrade their bench.

It’s not as explosive as having Mareese Speights hitting threes and Leandro Barbosa on one-man fast breaks. But it is more reliable and better defensively.

And the real benefit of this bench: it doesn’t have to be that great.

This year’s cast of reserves averaged 32.8 points, slightly less than last year’s average of 33.7 points per game. But the current bench shot 52.5 percent, much better than the 47.4 percent from last…

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