OAKLAND — The moment so many Golden State Warriors stakeholders have been waiting for is finally here: A chance at turning the page after collapsing in the 2016 NBA Finals.
The best regular-season team of all time added superstar Kevin Durant and new role players in the offseason, but will head coach Steve Kerr be able to find and stick to a rotation that helps his players thrive?
Kerr said after practice on Monday that he has an idea for a 10-man rotation for the early part of the schedule.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia will be the starters. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will continue to be the first off the bench. Then comes new forward David West. Rounding out the players who will see significant time are guards Ian Clark and Patrick McCaw.
“Our guys understand their roles,” Kerr said. “We’re going to be looking for combinations. … This year, there’s some pretty big adjustments to make, just in terms of lineups and getting comfortable with each other.”
Kerr said the team will be experimenting with different groups over the next few weeks and that he will use reserve big men — James Michael McAdoo, JaVale McGee and Anderson Varejao — on a game-by-game basis. (When Kevon Looney returns to full speed and conditioning after a lost season, he’ll be thrown in that discussion as well and will contend for a significant amount of minutes. But that’s for another time.)
“We’re not settled on the rotation and how it looks, we’re still experimenting,” Kerr said. “Hopefully, we get better as we’re going through that.”
What will be most interesting to see worked out is how Kerr will manage who creates offense and movement when Curry comes off the floor.
“We’re still trying to find the right combination with KD, without Steph,” Kerr explained. “Things seem to change dramatically when Steph goes off the floor.”
Bringing Durant to the Bay Area solved a good deal of problems for the Warriors, but the work — managing egos, minutes and winning games — starts tonight against the San Antonio Spurs. That’s no insignificant task, regardless of how many former MVPs you can call upon.