CHASE CENTER — The Warriors are likely lottery-bound just five games into the season, sitting on their worst start (1-4) in a decade.
Head coach Steve Kerr, though, said in his pregame presser on Saturday that there’s been no emotional toll for the team.
“It’s early in the season,” he said. “And everything is relatively recent. With Stephen (Curry), Loon (Kevon Looney), and Jacob (Evans III), it’s all happened in the last week, basically, so I don’t think there’s an emotional toll. There’s more of a reaction – sort of ‘what the hell’s going on’ type thing. But you have to deal with it and move forward.”
Already without Klay Thompson (ACL), Looney (neuropathy — hamstring) and Evans (adductor strain), Golden State lost Curry for three months (broken hand) on Wednesday, and on Saturday, Kerr announced that neither D’Angelo Russell nor Draymond Green will play against the Charlotte Hornets. Green will miss several games with a torn ligament in his finger, and Russell is out with an ankle injury.
The Warriors are instead expected to start three rookies in Saturday’s game against Charlotte, the second of a back-to-back following their loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night. Rookies Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, and Eric Paschall all get the nod against the Hornets, with Glenn Robinson and Willie Cauley-Stein rounding out the starting five.
Paschall is leading the three rookies in scoring with 11.6 points per game with Poole behind him, averaging 10.6.
Poole dropped a career-high 20 points Friday night against the Spurs and has a chance to increase that with more minutes tonight.
“It’s a great opportunity for the young guys and they know it,” Kerr said. “They should take advantage of it.”
Without Russell and Evans in the lineup, the Warriors do not have a backup point guard behind Bowman, and Kerr says that he expects the wings to handle the ball a bit more and help the team get into their offense, which will be more simplified given the lack of experience on the current active roster.
“I don’t think there’s anything that can help a rookie feel like a No. 1 option, unless he’s the first pick in the draft or something,” Kerr explained. “The biggest thing is to simplify the offense and the defense and just keep the menu limited so you can execute a few things well rather than have a whole bunch of things in your head that could confuse you.
“But the idea is to keep getting better individually and collectively and you see what happens.”