Warriors Las Vegas Summer League: Off-court observations from Sin City

Warriors Las Vegas Summer League: Off-court observations from Sin City

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

Las Vegas Summer League can be deceiving. Do not pay too much attention to statistics or records when analyzing the tournament.

The games are nowhere near NBA-level competition and the teams are assembled like glorified pick-up games. Instead, try observing the more subtle minutia of each individual player, like their willingness to shoot or pass, their overall basketball IQ or ability to find comfort in mayhem and slow the game down.

But not all observations of summer league are on the court. Let's jump around to some observations I made off the court during my time in Las Vegas:

The Warriors front office and coaching staff are optimistic and excited for the new-look Warriors: There has been a constant news cycle recently about the end of the Warriors dynasty, some even going as far as to say that this current rendition of the franchise will not even make the postseason next year.

But you would never know there is outside pessimism about the team when you around the actual team themselves. From top to bottom, there is a fresh enthusiasm in the air.

While roster question marks and concerns are accurately realized, there is a sense that the coaches and executives look at next season as a fun new challenge. They seem the cherish the role of underdogs after being the prohibitive favorites year after year.

Ron Adams is around and involved with the team: There had been reports that the Lakers were in hot pursuit of the defensive guru, and speculation had mounted over the last season that this might be it for Adams as a stalwart on the Warriors bench.

But Adams was present and engaged in Las Vegas, which makes one think that he will be back with the team in some capacity in the Chase Center.

Sure enough, Adams reportedly has agreed to return to the Warriors in a "revised role."

Willie Cauley-Stein's personality will be a great addition to the Warriors locker room: The new probable starting center is outgoing and fun to talk to, as he is generous with his stories and laughs.

He is happy to discuss his newfound love for fishing, or his excitement to join a team in Golden State that he has always admired.

Over the years, the team has always mixed in players onto their roster that could bring some levity and lightheartedness to a sometimes arduous season. Cauley-Stein seems like he could be that guy this year.

The combination of Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole deserves a reality TV show: The new-look Warriors are younger than ever, and with that comes some youthful energy.

The best example of this is the budding relationship between Paschall and Poole. The two rookies are inseparable, by choice and by circumstance, and they have a fun time showing it.

Whether it is crashing each other's interviews, or constantly laughing and poking fun at one another, Paschall and Poole bring some joy to the team that seemed to have been missing last season.

There is a strong consensus that Damion Lee deserves a chance in the NBA: Lee was present in Vegas, mingling with the Warriors staff and other NBA officials and players.

He is still a free agent, though currently restricted, and he is searching for a team to give him a chance after shooting over 40 percent in both the G-League and NBA last season.

There is a common sentiment from many that I talked to, that Lee deserves a real opportunity to compete at the highest level. Now it is up to a team to put him on their roster. The Warriors do not have much space, but perhaps they can get creative and find a way to bring him back.

[RELATED: Warriors' Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall showing flashes in Summer League]

Everyone still loves Quinn Cook: When Cook showed up at Thomas and Mack Center for the Warriors and Lakers summer league match up, he instantly became the most popular guy in the arena.

From NBA stars to agents, to coaches, to media, everyone just wanted a chance to reconnect with Cook. There is no doubt the Warriors will miss having him around the team.

Warriors vs. Lakers live stream: How to watch NBA preseason game online


Warriors vs. Lakers live stream: How to watch NBA preseason game online

After a brief one-game hiatus, the Warriors and Lakers will start a three-game series to close out the preseason Monday night at Staples Center.

The Dubs and Lakers will play Monday, Wednesday and Friday to finish the exhibition season before the games start to count next week.

Monday's game won't have the star power the first meeting at Chase Center did, as both Anthony Davis and LeBron James will not play for the Lakers, while Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell will be no-gos for the Dubs.

Steph Curry will suit up Monday but will rest Wednesday.

Kevon Looney, who has been out with hamstring injury, also is not expected to play Monday.

[RELATED: Kerr makes savage joke about Warriors' rebounding woes]

Here's how to watch the preseason opener online and on TV:

When: Monday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m.
TV Channel: NBA TV
Live Stream: fuboTV -- Get a free trial!

Steve Kerr jabs Warriors over lack of rebounding during preseason play


Steve Kerr jabs Warriors over lack of rebounding during preseason play

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.

[RELATED: Warriors' offseason gamble on Chriss appears it will pay off]

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.