A week ago today, the Warriors held their first practice ever under new coach Mark Jackson. Fast forward seven days, and the team is preparing to play its first preseason game against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night at Oracle Arena.
Players say they’re not worried about the quick turnaround because every team in the league will have to make due with just two preseason games before the lockout-shortened season begins on Christmas Day.
“I think everybody’s in the same boat,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “There are talks that the condensed schedule is gonna hurt veteran teams, and young teams with a lot of athleticism are gonna drive a little better. I don’t see that ’cause it’s the NBA — guys are all gonna have to come to the plate to figure out a way to get it done with the circumstances that we have.”
The obvious concern for the Warriors is the short amount of time they have to mesh with Jackson before their opener Dec. 25 against the suddenly star-studded Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’m sure there’s gonna be a period of adjustments — there’s gonna be some mistakes for sure, but it is what it is,” power forward Lou Amundson said.
“We’re still getting to know each other, and it’s gonna be a process,” Curry said at the beginning of the week. “I’m not gonna over-exaggerate that everything is clicking right now. We just gotta make sure that we continue to learn and continue to grow together and trust one another.”
The Warriors will play both of their preseason games against the Kings, the second of which is scheduled for Tuesday night in Sacramento. While they may have benefited from a longer training camp with Jackson and the six new assistant coaches he’s brought in, nobody wants to wait another day to get on the court.
“I wish Saturday was the opening of the season,” shooting guard Monta Ellis said. “It just goes with the territory. You just got to be ready. So we are just gonna approach this game as it is, as if it were the regular season.”
Ellis said the Warriors have a chance to begin the season on a tear, as they play their first four games at Oracle Arena.
“We just gotta take advantage of our schedule,” he said. “We have the first four home games here … so it’s set for us to start off and really take advantage of the opportunities that we have.”
Warriors vs. Kings
WHEN: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland
TV: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area