NBC Sports

Three things to watch in Warriors' preseason game vs. Kings

NBC Sports

The Warriors take the floor Tuesday night for the second of three preseason games, this one coming against the Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

With the season opener against the Nets in Brooklyn one week away, the Warriors are using this abbreviated preseason to work toward building some semblance of court chemistry.

Coming off a 107-105 win over the Nuggets last Saturday at Chase Center, development is the only thing that matters.

Here are three factors that should be under the Warriors' spotlight for the scheduled 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Bay Area:

Defensive intensity

The Warriors opened the preseason with a searing defensive approach, building a 17-point lead over Denver in the first half, during which Nuggets not named Nikola Jokic shot 34.1 percent and gave up 14 points in turnovers.

The Kings, with point guard De’Aaron Fox leading the way, want to play fast. They have enough scorers to be explosive. 

So, it’s a different kind of challenge for the Warriors, who will rise or fall on the merits of their defense. Coach Steve Kerr is emphasizing defense. The players, to a man, are talking defense.

Can they bring it consistently?

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Andrew Wiggins

He’s going to be the starting small forward for as long as he’s on the payroll and his body is able. The Warriors expect him to hold his own defensively and produce on offense.

 

A little more than five minutes into the game against the Nuggets, Wiggins had made both his shots – but also committed two turnovers and, more troublesome, three fouls. With 6:44 left in the first quarter, he went to the bench and didn’t return until halfway through the second quarter.

There is little doubt he was trying to defend at a high level. It got him into trouble. He needs to find a middle ground, because he’s more valuable on the floor than he is on the bench.

Can he be an above-average defender without flirting with foul trouble?

The Odd Couple: Wanamaker and Bazemore

The two reserves bring very different games: Wanamaker is a deliberate ball-handler whose every move has a purpose, while Bazemore is a high-velocity presence determined to push the pace at both ends. Call them "The Odd Couple," if you will, but what they have in common is a willingness to mix it up. They formed a solid pair that for the most part was effective against Denver.

Though neither was a member of the Warriors last season, they’ve needed only one week of training camp to establish themselves as leaders of the second unit.

Can they further solidify that with a strong second effort?