ONTARIO -- After more than a month of private workouts and closed training camp practices, the new-look Warriors were finally revealed to the public in Saturday's exhibition opener. And immediately, Golden State -- which lost 104-95 to the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers -- provided something to chew on for one of the biggest questions facing this team.
Coach Mark Jackson started newcomer Andre Iguodala in place of Klay Thompson, who has started every game for Golden State since it traded Monta Ellis in March 2012. This was the first sign of Jackson's thinking in regards to his starting lineup.
Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andrew Bogut are locks, Jackson said. That leaves Iguodala, Thompson and Harrison Barnes vying for the last two spots.
"Don't read anything into it," Jackson said. "It's just the way we're starting (Saturday). You could go either way. ... All those guys are going to play a lot."
After Saturday's game, it's hard to see Iguodala as anything other than a fourth lock. The dimensions he brings to the lineup -- size, athleticism, skill and versatility -- were on full display in his one half of action.
Iguodala had 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 21 first-half minutes. He also had three rebounds and two steals.
He twice turned post-ups into easy baskets. Two other times, he finished at the rim with the authority, one of them a spinning drive in traffic he created on his own.
Barnes was the only one who provided that element for the Warriors last season, and he doesn't have Iguodala's ballhandling and court vision. Plus, Iguodala is a top-notch defender, as evidenced when he picked the pocket of Lakers guard Xavier Henry at half court and soared in for a tomahawk dunk.
"He's multifaceted. He's got a lot of strengths," Bogut said of Iguodala, who signed a four-year, $48 million deal in July. "He can push the ball. He can rebound. He's very, very active defensively. He's a welcomed sight for us at the three spot, and I think he's really going to help us."
Still, Jackson said Iguodala and Barnes starting together, with Thompson coming off the bench, is just one of three options he's investigating in the exhibition season. He said Thompson will get his chance to start and suggested Iguodala would get a look coming off the bench.
Playing Barnes and Iguodala together fits with Jackson's desire to pick up the tempo. Both are explosive athletes with good size. With them flanking Curry, that figures to be a boon to Golden State's transition game.
Plus, Thompson is the only of the three with experience coming off the bench. Thompson has 37 such games under his belt and looked comfortable Saturday, leading the Warriors with 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting in 38 minutes off the bench.
"His mentality remains the same," Jackson said, "so there is no concern with him."
Some other things we learned Saturday night:
"I felt great out there," Bogut said. "I felt like I was moving well, more active than I've been since I've been with the Warriors. Felt in great condition. Wasn't tired out there."
Bogut said that although most vets take it easy in the exhibition season, he can't afford to coast. He's going hard to knock off the rust, especially on offense. He was aggressive on that end but never able to find a rhythm. He had seven points on 2-of-8 shooting, several of his misses up close.
"I need to get back to the way I know how to play," he said. "I'm trying to make sure when that first ... game comes, I'm 100 percent ready."
Apparently, that will be a featured part of the offense.
"We were trying to exploit different matchups," Curry said. "You've got to be able to throw it in the post if it's a half-court game, execute that way. ... Once guys get their timing down and get their rhythm, they should be good looks for us."
"Both of those guys are big-time defenders," Jackson said. "Jermaine gives us a post presence. They're great guys to set screens and create openings. We will go to that lineup at times."
O'Neal, like Bogut, stood out for his edgy play. He blocked a hook at the rim by the Los Angeles big man Robert Sacre and proceeded to strut down court barking. Midway through the third quarter, he took away an easy layup with a hard foul on Lakers' forward Jordan Hill, shooting Hill a stare.
It's clear the Warriors have two centers willing to mix it up and capable of protecting the rim. And it appears their training camp battles with each other have them primed for the season already.
Sacramento at Warriors,
7:30 p.m. CSNBA