SAN FRANCISCO -- With a diminished roster forcing shorter and lighter practices, the Warriors concluded their shortest session of the week Thursday with more questions than answers.
They did not bother scrimmaging, believing it was more productive to work on conditioning, skills and video study.
Here are three takeaways from Day 3 of training camp:
Too many cooks? Not in this case
After utilizing seven coaches the last few seasons, the Warriors this season increased the total to 10, which is more than they’ve had at any time in their existence.
“We actually need everybody because of how much youth we have,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re doing a lot of individual training before and after practice. A lot of individual film work. So, we need all these coaches because they’re all divvying up the individual instruction.”
Kerr’s primary assistants are Ron Adams, Mike Brown, Jarron Collins and Bruce Fraser. Adams’ role has shifted away from the bench, toward player development. Rather than the full travel schedule of the last five seasons, he’ll be on the road for select games.
Chris DeMarco operates in a hybrid position of assistant coach/player development, while four others -- Seth Cooper, Luke Loucks, Aaron Miles and Theo Robertson -- operate solely in player development.
Just one more sign of the franchise understanding it is in the midst of a major transition, with as many players under 25 as over.
Help Wanted: Centers apply here
When the Warriors take the court Saturday for their preseason opener at Chase Center, they will be without their starting center, their battle-tested backup and the man who would be no worse than third-string if he were on the active roster.
Kerr said Thursday he didn’t know who would start, or come off the bench, or finish, when they face the Lakers, but his options obviously are limited.
“I assume Omari (Spellman) will start, if I had to make a guess right now,” Kerr said after practice. “Marquese Chriss will play some 5 as well. I believe those are our only two options.”
Kerr then added that 6-foot-7 rookie Eric Paschall also could spend time at center.
Putative starter Willie Cauley-Stein is out until November with a mid-foot sprain. Kevon Looney, scheduled to come off the bench, is out with a “slight” hamstring strain. Zaza Pachulia is in the building, but in the role of consultant.
Spellman, a second-year player acquired from the Hawks in the deal that sent Damian Jones to Atlanta, is 6-9, 275, with a nice shooting touch. Chriss, a 2016 first-round draft pick, is on his fourth team in four years.
Expect Paschall, at 6-7 and a solid 250 pounds, to be shoved into the fray.
“He’d be the shortest 5-man in the history of the NBA,” Kerr said. “But he’s got the strength and athleticism and the length, with his (7-foot) wingspan, to play bigger than he is.”
’Nova West? Warriors East? Take your pick
The Warriors have won three of the last five NBA Finals. Villanova has won two of the last four NCAA national titles. Coincidence?
Maybe not, if you listen to Paschall, who spent his final three seasons of college at ‘Nova, under coach Jay Wright, before being drafted by the Warriors in June.
“Coach Wright has done a great job of preparing all his Villanova guys like that,” Paschall said. “He kind of runs an NBA-style offense. And the type of practices we have here are exactly what we do at college.”
And that was before the Warriors drafted Paschall, before they acquired Spellman and before Kerr and Wright spent much of the summer working alongside each other on the staff of Gregg Popovich during the FIBA World Cup.
“I talked to Jay this morning, actually, about his two guys,” Kerr said. “That’s one of the big advantages I have with coaching Eric and Omari. I’ve got an automatic ally in Jay. And some insight into what makes these guys tick.”
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The similarities have helped Paschall make a relatively quick adjustment to the Warriors.
“When I said after a few meetings I thought this was Villanova again, it’s because how coach Kerr runs this place and how Bob Myers runs it, it’s kind of exactly like Villanova,” he said. “Just knowing it’s a very cultured place. They want everything to be as it is, so they can continue to win. And that’s how coach Wright is. Coach Wright is very big on making sure that we can continue to win by doing what we do.
“I feel like I fit in perfectly because some of the stuff coach Kerr talks about, coach Wright talks about.”