The Golden State Warriors are ending their preseason journey with a second road game against the Sacramento Kings. Then it’s four day days off to rest, scrimmage, make roster decisions, and game plan for Tuesday’s season opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
There’s certainly a lot of meaning to find in the final meaningless game of the season. Here are the three things I have my eyes on.
Steve Kerr said before Tuesday’s game that he was going to bump up the starter’s minutes. That happened with Steph Curry, who almost played his normal first half schedule. Curry was then set to come out partially through the third quarter, but talked Kerr into letting him stay on the court and air it out a little.
Will he get to play a normal amount of minutes tonight? Kerr said in his pregame media availability that the plan is to play Curry on his normal minutes rotation in the first half: the entire first quarter, and about six minutes in the second quarter.
Who can state their roster cases?
The Warriors still have an open spot on the roster, and an open two-way contract spot. They’ll likely start the season using both, even if the former is in the form of a non-guaranteed contract.
Mychal Mulder seems close to having stamped his name on one of the spots, but can anyone else stand out for the other? Kerr (admittedly when prompted) complimented Kaleb Wesson before the game, and the Bay Area’s own Juan Toscano-Anderson has a lot of people in the organization on his side.
Will there be defensive intensity for 48 minutes?
The Warriors may have one of the best offensive players in NBA history starting at point guard, but Kerr has been open all preseason: this team will make their mark on the other end of the court. The almost always transparent Kerr has been open about his belief that the Warriors can be an elite defensive team, which marks a strong change from what he was saying last preseason.
He was also critical of their performance on Tuesday, especially as the game went on.
Can the defense step up in the finale, and hit the ground running when the season starts? Or will they continue to look like a work in progress?