Warriors

Kerr wants to stagger Warriors' lineups, 'don’t know if it’ll work'

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Kerr wants to stagger Warriors' lineups, 'don’t know if it’ll work'

OAKLAND – Steve Kerr concedes the obvious, that the remodeled Warriors aren’t built for the kind of mass substitutions he utilized when coaching the deepest roster in the NBA.

So, as the team prepares for training camp Tuesday, Kerr will make do with a roster that is, without doubt, the league’s most talented.

The advantage gained is that with four All-Stars on the roster – Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – the Warriors have gained the flexibility to have at least two playmakers on the floor at all times.

[POOLE: Championship or bust an accurate perception for Warriors]

“We’ve got a lot of combinations that can work and can also generate rest for other guys, and we’re going to be experimenting with all those,” Kerr says. “I have an idea of how it will look, but I don’t know if it’ll work yet. We have to see if it’ll work. But we absolutely will be staggering our players and keeping certain guys on the floor at all times.”

Though Kerr often was comfortable with having four or five reserves on the floor – featuring maybe one starter with any combination of Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa, Andre Iguodala, Brandon Rush, James Michael McAdoo, Festus Ezeli or Marreese Speights -- there undeniably were occasions when the offense would stall with Curry and Green resting on the bench.

If Kerr stays with his routine of Curry and Green going to the bench as a tandem, the Warriors still could have Durant and Thompson on the floor, with any combination of David West, Anderson Varejao, Kevon Looney, rookie Patrick McCaw, Livingston, Iguodala or McAdoo.

“That’s one of the great luxuries of having not only Steph and Durant but also the guys around them: Klay and Draymond and Andre and Shaun,” Kerr says.

The top eight players might be better overall, but the far end of the bench lost considerable experience within Kerr’s system and in general.

Barbosa spent two years with the Warriors and also spent much of his career in a similar system when Kerr was the general manager in Phoenix. Ezeli, Speights, Rush and McAdoo also spent the last two seasons under Kerr.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers 'not going to apologize' for signing Durant]

Talent and skill aside, the Warriors will require some serious adjustment to become a cohesive unit.

“I think it takes years, not a month or a week,” general manager Bob Myers says.

Noting the loss not only of Ezeli but also starting center Andrew Bogut, who was replaced by Zaza Pachulia, Kerr realizes compromises were necessary to assemble a roster with four players of maximum contract status, even if not reflected in all four paychecks.

“I don’t think we’ll look a whole lot differently offensively,” Kerr says. “We still want to do the same things. We want to push it and play fast and move the ball and get good shots.

“Defensively is a bigger challenge. We lose the rim protection with Bogut and Ezeli. We gain a great position defender in Zaza. We gained great experience with David West. We have some youth inside, but you can’t count on anything from Looney or Jones. We’ll see what they bring.

“But in my mind, this is a very different season, and a different approach to a season, much more experimental.”

Warriors chime in on De'Aaron Fox's anti-In-N-Out Burger debate

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USATSI

Warriors chime in on De'Aaron Fox's anti-In-N-Out Burger debate

I am not here for any In-N-Out Burger slander on my timeline. And apparently, Jordan Bell isn't either. 

Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox has sparked quite the debate. After calling In-N-Out "trash," Bell was having none of it and needed answers from the Warriors. 

So, are the champs Team Whataburger or Team In-N-Out? Warning: NSFW 

Did DeMarcus Cousins say In-N-Out is "Hall of Fame?" Yeah, I've always been a fan of Boogie. 

[RELATED: Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans]

But Five Guys? Shake Shack? Nah, I'm sticking with what I always made my first purchase whenever I flew home from college. 

Here's to Team In-N-Out.

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

OAKLAND – Much of the Now Generation barely knows how the Warriors lived before being plucked from the trash bin by an ambitious ownership group actually sincere in its vow to pursue greatness.

Before becoming the super team that “broke” the NBA a few years ago, the Warriors spent the better part of 20 years wearing the league’s brightest clown suit. They were submerged in such a toxic stew of instability, ineptitude and avarice that 42 wins was all it took for their fans to express full-throated “We Believe” euphoria.

Belief meant snapping a 13-year playoff drought.

The Warriors were, at that time, about where the Sacramento Kings were at the start of this season. By coincidence, the Kings are trying to put an end to a 13-year playoff drought.

Even for the Warriors fan that would like to crush the Kings into a fine purple powder, it is refreshing to see the Kings making themselves significant. They come into Oracle Arena on Thursday night with a 30-27 record – already more wins than they’ve achieved in eight of the last 10 seasons. They’re a part of a postseason race for the first time since

“Great story, great for Northern California, great for Sacramento,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says.

There’s a buzz in Sacramento that should be somewhat familiar to the Warriors fan of a dozen years ago – or to those that remember the 61-win Kings of Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divic, Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and Bobby Jackson.

The dazzling point guard, De’Aaron Fox is 21. The sharpshooter, Buddy Hield, is 26. Marvin Bagley III is 19, Harry Giles 20. Coach Dave Joerger is in the Coach of the Year discussion.

There are reasons why the Warriors have had difficulty shaking these dudes. After splitting four games with Sacramento last season, the champs this season are 3-0 – but with a win margin of 3.3 points.

“I love watching them play,” Kerr says. “Dave has done a fantastic job with the team. They’re exciting, they’re young and fun and full of energy. They’re tough to beat.”

Such talented youth is why the Kings have a future that can’t compare to the current Warriors, but is considerably much brighter than the “We Believe” bunch.

When Kerr was asked about a potential Warriors-Kings playoff series, he politely, and wisely, steered clear. His prerogative.

Here, though, we think a Warriors-Kings series in the first round would be great fun to watch. It wouldn’t be terribly competitive, but the Warriors could benefit from facing a team that out to change its status within the NBA.

Indeed, the Kings and the Lakers are the two most captivating first-round opponents for the Warriors. Any time LeBron James steps on the court to face the Warriors, it’s an event. And the idea of a team on the rise and only 80 miles away – and the former home of DeMarcus Cousins – ensures electricity.

To be sure, the appeal of either far outshines that of, say, the Spurs or the Timberwolves.

As someone eager for playoff hoops the Warriors were not able to provide, I often drove up to Sacramento in April and May. I saw and heard a man run out of Arco Arena sobbing and screaming after the Shaq-Kobe Lakers came back for an overtime win in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. It was the third consecutive postseason that the Kings were ousted by the Lakers.

When the Kings were contenders, their fans were annoyingly loud and profoundly engaged. The equivalent of Warriors fans at their most vociferous.

[RELATED: Five issues Warriors must confront to clear path to another championship]

“That place has always had great fans,” Kerr said. “I remember back in the day, going into Arco. So I’m happy for their fans because it’s been a while since they’ve been able to really connect with their team. And this team is easy to connect with.”

It seems somehow appropriate that on Thursday the Warriors will honor the “We Believe” team, with coach Don Nelson will be joined by Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson and Kelenna Azubuike at Oracle Arena.

If any fan can identify with the despair of those following the “Kangz,” it is the Warriors fan that remembers Keith Jennings and Bill Curley, endured Jason Caffey and Tony Farmer, and once saw Larry Hughes is the savior.