Much ballyhooed forward David Lee displayed Sunday some of reasons that the Warriors will pay him $80 million over the next six seasons.
Lee finished with 13 points with 13 rebounds in 32 minutes of the Warriors' 95-86 win over the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. He was active and aggressive on offense, though he was just 5 for 13 from the field. He and backup forward Jeff Adrien helped the Warriors outrebound Sacramento 62-59. Adrien had 15 points and 11 rebounds in just 23 minutes.
What's more, the Kings' big men -- rookie center DeMarcus Cousins and forward Jason Thompson -- combined to go 10 for 30 from the field.
That wasn't solely because of Lee, but he was a link in the chain of a frontline defense that was noticeably more effective than in Friday's exhibition opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.
In his second game in a Warriors uniform, Lee looked more comfortable and was definitely a presence. Lee, acquired in the offseason is a sign-and-trade deal with New York, missed some easy looks inside, but he had a hand in the action most times during his 32-minute stint.
Still, it was Adrien, a rookie from Connectiicut, who stole the show during his 23-minute effort.
"That's him running by," Smart said. "When the team runs a fast break, he runs a fast break. He's in the huddles. In huddles, he sits there and pays attention. He's attentive in film room. Right now he's showing us he's a student."
Udoh is likely out until January after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. But the first-round draft pick out of Baylor has been doing everything right during his rehabilitation, according to Smart.
Because Udoh is maximizing his time now, Smart expects there to be some benefits down the line. Udoh can adjust to life as an NBA player -- the pull of friends and family, all the information he has to digest, the need to get stronger -- without the pressure of then performing in the games. So by the time he's ready to play, he should be much better acclimated.
"The unfortunate part is he doesn't get to play," Smart said. "The fortunate part is they get time to adjust."
Somebody's been working on his range. Three-point shooting has been a relative weakness of Ellis most of his NBA career. He made a career-high 77 last season, pushing his career percentage from 3-point range to 30.9.
After hitting his first 3-point attempt Sunday to make it five in a row, Ellis did miss his next four attempts from behind the arc. He finished with 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting.
Warriors (2-0) at Sacramento (1-2) , 7 p.m.