OAKLAND – The coaching camp follow lastly didn’t middle on the Warriors discussing White Home visits or the President. Golden State targeted on far more basic items on Sunday, resembling passing, capturing and defensive drills.
These primary basketball expertise served as an fascinating foil to the bigger points round them. Because the Warriors devoted the primary two days of coaching camp perfecting fundamentals, they turned the nationwide focus for Donald Trump withdrawing a White Home invitation the Warriors possible would have declined anyway. These drills additionally symbolize the reply the Warriors try to offer to each NBA workforce that has bolstered its roster with one clear function – stopping the Warriors from turning into the twelfth workforce in NBA historical past to defend its title.
The newest instance: the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second-spherical decide, solely three months after buying star ahead Paul George from the Indiana Pacers.
“We see everyone getting higher. We all know individuals are gunning for us,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr stated after the Warriors’ second coaching-camp apply on Sunday. “All of our guys are basketball followers. They learn every little thing and see what everyone else is doing. It’s a motivating issue that everyone is getting higher within the West.”
How does Kerr need the workforce to make use of that as motivation correctly?
“I simply don’t need them to lose their edge,” Kerr stated. “That’s the primary factor.”
Shortly beforehand, Kerr had reminded his gamers the Warriors completed within the prime 5 in defensive effectivity for 4 consecutive seasons.
“That may’t change. We’ll be retaining an eye fixed out on that quantity,” Kerr stated. “So long as we’re defending, I do know we’re going to attain and I do know we’re going to be high-quality. However as quickly as you lose your defensive edge on this league, I do know that’s once you’re weak.”
The Warriors additionally sense they could turn out to be weak in the event that they grow to be too consumed with the Houston Rockets buying Chris Paul, Oklahoma Metropolis giving Russell Westbrook two star teammates or Boston touchdown Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving.
Warriors ahead Kevin Durant chalked these strikes as much as “league enterprise.” Durant additionally predicted the Western Convention “shall be even higher” than within the 2013-14 season when seven of eight Western Convention playoff groups gained a minimum of 50 video games. Aside from that…
“I’m solely targeted on the Warriors,” Durant stated.
He repeated that thought minutes later. Durant then defined how his thought course of had little to do with talking concerning the Thunder after criticizing them solely every week in the past on Twitter.
“Each group simply locks in, particularly the second day of camp, you need to get higher as a gaggle,” Durant stated. “We’ll fear about these groups once we play them. We’ll undergo scouting stories. However on a regular basis it’s about us. I’m positive each different group within the league is considering the identical means.”
The scouting report suggests the Warriors might have an fascinating problem towards the Thunder in fulfilling Kerr’s name to take care of their environment friendly defensive performances. Whereas Westbrook arguably might submit a triple double no matter who’s on the ground with him, the presence of George and Anthony might all of them up for extra open appears. Whereas questions emerge on how all three star gamers will share one ball, questions additionally emerge on how any group can cease any one among them from scoring on any possession.
“Truthfully, I didn’t give it some thought in any respect. It’s fascinating to comply with as a fan. As a coach, we’ll fear about OKC once we play them,” stated Kerr, whose preparation will begin sooner or later earlier than the Warriors and Thunder play on Nov. 22. However I didn’t spend any time yesterday fascinated with them. It’s enjoyable to comply with all of the motion and a variety of stuff happening within the league.”
And apparently, the Warriors stated they adopted that motion extra out of curiosity than how Golden State’s versatile lineups would change.
So when Warriors ahead Draymond Inexperienced came upon concerning the commerce whereas lifting weights on Saturday morning, he stated didn’t all of the sudden marvel how he would defend both Anthony or George. Inexperienced maintained he thought extra about Anthony personally.
“As a pal and brother, I’m glad to see him get out of a state of affairs he didn’t need to be in,” Inexperienced stated of Anthony. “We’ll cope with the technique stuff later. Nevertheless it was good to see him in a state of affairs we didn’t need to be in. Melo needed to approve that commerce. I respect the transfer made and pleased he’s in a state of affairs he needed to go.”
The Warriors have been completely satisfied for fairly a while after profitable two of the previous three NBA titles. In order different groups attempt to add new our bodies that may pry away the Larry O’Brien trophy out of their palms, the Warriors sound decided to fret extra about how they will maintain onto it.
“It begins within the constructing with everyone being on the identical web page and desirous about the identical issues,” Durant stated. “We by no means need to get distracted from the work. We got here in and have been locked in and had a terrific second day of apply. We’ll proceed to maintain constructing on that.”