The only things that can stop the Golden State Warriors are injuries and boredom. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

The only things that can stop the Golden State Warriors are injuries and boredom. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors’ toughest task in 2016: Keep us interested until playoffs

The Golden State Warriors edged some chumps named the Los Angeles Clippers in their preseason home opener. Led by only 53 points in the third quarter. The final was 120-75 or something like that.

Yeah, Balls is a bit concerned, too.

“Now we have to lock in and have some good practices and string one good day after the next,” Steve Kerr said with a straight face. “And that’s where you really start to make improvement.”

C’mon, stop it, coach. Puh-leeze?

While Kerr tries to justify his presence, sure Hall of Famers Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant and maybes Draymond Green and Klay Thompson suggest otherwise. Really, does it take a genius to say, “OK, Steph, pass the ball to Kevin or Klay. Kevin or Klay, shoot it. Oh, and Draymond, get close to the basket just in case”?

Not since the Boston Celtics won 11 league titles in 13 years has a franchise assembled so much star talent at the same time. Geez, that was so long ago, Bill Russell had dark whiskers.

Remember those football highlights shows a while back? OK, you don’t remember them. But when there was a lull in the action, the announcer would say, “And now we move to further action …”

Well, allow Balls to be the first to say fast forward to the playoffs. Because only two things stand between the Warriors and another serious run at 70-something victories in the regular season: major health issues and a serious case of boredom, in that order.

Make that three if you include more Draymond dumbness.

No, the real (only?) challenge for Kerr will come after the All-Star break. That’s when he’ll begin to closely monitor the Fab Four, make sure that they’re mentally and physically prepared for the postseason, the real season.

You know, unlike last spring, when Curry and his bum ankle and knee were mishandled practically from the start.

Until then, excuse Balls while it takes a very long nap …

TURN OFF THE FANS: Speaking of tuning out early, have you seen the latest NFL television ratings?

Not good. Downright lousy almost across the board, in fact. For the fourth time in as many weeks.

The latest excuses are Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, you can blame them for a lot of things. Except there were presidential debates four years ago, and the league didn’t suffer even a little bit.

Balls is stickin’ to its story here. The #boycottNFL movement has lots to do with Colin Kaepernick and the few dozen other misguided souls who have mixed sports and politics on the field, the last thing that most fans want to see/hear in their down time.

The NFL won’t go away any time soon. It’s too rich and established for that to happen. But with a growing number of fans at the point of no return, it’s not too early to wonder if it has maxed out finally.

AND ANOTHER THING … Of course, it doesn’t help the league to have so many lame prime time matchups such as the one in Santa Clara on Thursday night.

The 1-3 Niners will host the 1-3 Arizona Cardinals in a battle to see which can draft the better franchise quarterback next spring.

THE LIST: Can’t-miss picks against the spread for Week 5 of the NFL season. Or your money back …

Atlanta Falcons (+7) at Denver Broncos.

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers (-6.5).

New England Patriots (-7.5) at Cleveland Browns.

Last week: 1-2. Season 3-9 (.250).

JUST SAYIN’: Stanford star Christian McCaffrey had perhaps the worst game of his career in a 44-6 stinker at Washington last weekend. Makes you wonder if the kid hasn’t been run into the ground already.

If the Toronto Blue Jays advance to the World Series, the least they can do is vote Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter a half share …

And you thought Bruce Bochy needed a GPS to navigate his way through a bullpen.

Balls would love to spend five minutes inside Hunter Pence’s head. OK, 15 seconds would be fine.

The great Arnold Palmer was laid to rest this week. There may be another one like him way down the rode, but Balls kinda doubts it …

YOUR TURN: “I’m going to tell you what’s wrong with the Giants: It’s the Curse of Skeeter. You know, Matt Duffy’s cat. Duffy was everything that was hot about that team, a guy who steps in out of nowhere to fill the gap left by the Panda [Pablo Sandoval], adapts to third base as if he were born there, hits at all of the right times.”  — Thomas Burgess, Noe Valley

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.

Golden State WarriorsLos Angeles ClippersPaul LadewskiStephen CurrySteve Kerr

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