The preseason is a time to get back in the flow of things. A time for new teammates to jell and for coaching staffs to iron the kinks in their unit before the games begin to count.
Through two preseason games so far, Steve Kerr's Warriors have had some good (Steph Curry's 40-point outburst vs. the T-Wolves) and some bad (giving up 66 points in the paint to the Lakers), and there a number of things the Dubs need to fix as the season approaches.
Kerr is concerned with one thing in particular as the Warriors prepare to play their third preseason game Monday against the Lakers: Rebounding.
The Warriors have been getting abused on the glass so far in exhibition play, ranking 36 out of 37 teams who have played in the preseason (30 NBA teams, seven international teams) in opponents offensive rebounds. Kerr jabbed his team over their lack of rebounding prior to the Dubs' game at Staples Center on Monday night.
"We got to rebound better," Kerr said, via The Athletic's Anthony Slater. "There's been 37 teams that have played exhibition basketball in the NBA so far -- 30 NBA teams plus seven international teams -- we're 36th in opponents offensive rebounds. So I told the guys that I'm confident if we box out better we can maybe catch Haifa and pass Haifa and hopefully maybe even get passed the Shanghai Sharks if we put it together for a couple games."
Savage shot from coach Kerr.
In all seriousness, the Warriors do have some frontcourt questions to answer. Those were put on full display in their first matchup with the Lakers when Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee and LeBron James feasted in the paint.
Kevon Looney is expected to play big minutes at center when he gets healthy, but right now the Warriors are forced to play Omari Spellman (6-foot-9) and Marquese Chriss (6-foot-10) at center until Looney and Willie Cauley-Stein are ready to go. The Dubs are both thin and inexperienced up front and that will pose a problem when the games start to count.
Without a legitimate rim protector and board cleaner, the Warriors have been bullied inside early in the preseason.
Kerr knows that needs to change if the Dubs are to contend with both Haifa in the rebounding category and the Lakers and Clippers atop the Western Conference.