Steve Kerr spoke early in the season about 20 games being a good benchmark for re-evaluating his team's rotations, as the Warriors head coach had to work in a number of new faces.
Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons will be the Warriors’ 20th contest of the 2020-21 season, and in speaking with 95.7 The Game on Friday, Kerr explained why he still expected the team to be more consistent at this stage.
“I was hoping to see it right about now. We talked about the 20-game mark, which is usually the case in the NBA season, by the quarter mark, you usually have a sense of who your team is,” Kerr said on “Damon, Ratto and Kolsky.” “ This year is a little different because training camp was truncated and actually almost didn't exist given that James Wiseman and Draymond [Green] both missed the entirety of camp.
“So this is a little different but I hoped we would be a little further along. We're not there yet. We really have to do better as a staff, in terms of making very clear what we are after. Then it's up to the players to do it.”
We’ve already seen the Warriors do a bit of tinkering with the starting lineup, as No. 2 draft pick James Wiseman was replaced by Kevon Looney in the first five last week. Kerr emphasized he wanted a better start on the defensive end, and the Warriors won a pair of games against the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves before losing to Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns on Thursday with Looney as the starting center.
Kerr said Friday that his rotation will remain fluid as he wants to see players step up and compete.
“You know, I really haven't reached a solid rotation yet a quarter of the way into the season because nobody has really seized their role and roles are up for grabs, they're right there, but people have to seize them and take them and at that point, we can become more consistent," he said.
James Wiseman seemed to respond well to his move to the bench, as the rookie put together his best professional game yet off the bench in Wednesday's win over Minnesota, scoring 25 points, grabbing six rebounds and blocking two shots in 25 minutes.
The Warriors just are on the outside of the postseason picture in the Western Conference as of now, and even with Klay Thompson expected to miss the entire season, Kerr expects this group to be a playoff team.
So don’t be surprised if you see some new combinations over the next few games as the Warriors’ coaching staff continues to tinker and experiment with the most optimal lineups.