It's not often that the NBA receives praise in the days after the regular season schedule is released.
But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes the league is listening to teams regarding making improvements to the travel and reducing schedule congestion. The Warriors only have 13 back-to-back sets this season, a reduction from 14 last season. The NBA also made an effort this season to schedule a team to play teams in the same city on one road trip. Unlike last season when the Warriors had to make two trips to New York to play the Knicks and the Nets, this year, they will play both teams on a late October trip.
Additionally, the Warriors will stay in Los Angeles for four days in January to play the Clippers and Lakers, though the off-days in LA may pose a different problem for Kerr and the coaching staff.
"That could go either way, right?" Kerr said to Bob Fitzgerald on KNBR 680 on Friday.
During the last few seasons, when the Warriors have had an off-day in Los Angeles prior to a game against the Clippers or Lakers, they've come out flat. On the upcoming January trip, they will play the Clippers on Friday, Jan. 18 and the Lakers on Monday, Jan. 21. That means the players will have two days off in The City of Angels.
Is Kerr considering making the team fly back to the Bay Area after the Clippers game in order to avoid the distractions that come with the nightlife in Los Angeles?
"We may have to hold that over their heads," Kerr said with a laugh.
Then Kerr got serious and offered praise for the NBA schedule makers.
"I like that too. Remember two years ago, we were No. 1 in the league in terms of miles traveled? I believe this schedule has us right in the middle at like 15th, which, given that we're in the Western Conference, I mean, I would guess that all the Western Conference teams are in the Top 15 just on basic geometry. So I think the league has done a really good job of listening to teams doing things like you just said, playing a couple games in a city and staying there instead of playing hopscotch all over the place," Kerr said.