SAN DIEGO – The Warriors on Wednesday return to Valley View Casino Center to face the Lakers in a rematch of the game played last Saturday in Las Vegas, won by the Warriors.
It’s also a rematch of teams that met last October in the same arena, only to have the game discontinued late in the third quarter because of poor footing attributed to ice beneath the basketball floor. Valley View is the home of the American Hockey League San Diego Gulls.
Both teams are expressing confidence that the floor will be fine.
The Warriors have won four in a row since losing their preseason opener and with coach Steve Kerr saying he plans to extend his starters to about 30 minutes each, while also playing them in the fourth quarter, there’s a good chance they run the streak to five.
Warriors by 8
Warriors: F Kevin Durant, F Draymond Green, C Zaza Pachulia, G Klay Thompson, G Stephen Curry.
Lakers: F Luol Deng, F Julius Randle, C Timofey Mozgov, G Lou Williams, G D’Angelo Russell.
Warriors: C/F Anderson Varejao (R shoulder contusion) is listed as questionable. C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) and G Elliot Williams (R knee surgery) are listed as out.
Lakers: G Jose Calderon (L calf strain) is listed as out.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
Kerr says the offense has been strategized and implemented. The result should be a continued decline in the number of turnovers, which were plentiful in the first few games, as the team integrated new members.
Acknowledging the rim protection lost with the offseason departures of Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli, coaches and players have talked about the need for their defense to cut off penetration. It worked well in beating the Lakers last Saturday in Las Vegas, but the Warriors would like to take it up a notch.
Now that they have reached the dress rehearsal stage of the preseason, don’t expect the Warriors to play every healthy player. The vast majority of minutes likely will go to 10 or 11 players. Though the rotation is pretty much set, there is at least area of ongoing interest: Will JaVale McGee play any true rotation minutes?
“I see progress. Still, our intensity needs to get raised a little bit. But it’s natural. It’s the preseason. It’s different when you get to those games that count. But let’s take these last two as dress rehearsals. We want to peak in May and June. “ – Thompson, on the Warriors closing out the preseason schedule