In order to really be a run and gun team, the players have to be in the best shape of their lives. If you want to run up and down the court, you have to be able to outrun the opposition. Stamina is a huge factor in this uptempo offense. So in order to get to that point, practice has to be all about running, running, and more running. The Golden State Warriors plan on beating their opposition up and down the court.
By choosing to go with an undersized lineup, Coach Don Nelson needs his players to be in better shape than the opposition every night. Otherwise, the easy-basket opportunities that are supposed to help the Warriors crack the 34-win barrier for the first time in three seasons will dry up.
"Coaches want to play (up-tempo), and players say they do, but when it gets down to it, they don't really want to, because it requires you to be in good shape," Warriors forward Mike Dunleavy said.
As of Sunday, Nelson said there were several players who were on top of their conditioning, starting with Dunleavy and center Andris Biedrins. "They can play 48 minutes, I think, if I want them to," Nelson said. Davis, guard Anthony Roberson and forward Mickael Pietrus are also on that list.
I imagine that most of these players are in the best shape of their careers. None of them have played for a Hall of Fame coach like Nellie who loves to run and gun. It's great to see these players who were already in great shape, step it up a level and really fine tune their bodies to be able to withstand the constant running that will come this season.