Warriors Preach Patience With Officials, ‘we'll Have to Adjust'

As he bolted toward the bench after being whistled for a sixth foul in 24 minutes Wednesday night, Kevin Durant allowed himself a grin. Steve Kerr, sitting on the bench, had the same reaction.

There were no tantrums this time because Warriors players and coaches have already expressed their disgust. They are now -- deep breath here - trying to exercise patience with preseason officiating.

"Just like we play a full 82-game season, they ref a full 82-game season," Durant told reporters after a 123-113 loss to the Lakers at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. "We try to make adjustments; they're making adjustments as well."

The NBA office last month issued its annual "Points of Education," aka Points of Emphasis, memo to all officials. Much of the focus this time is on off-ball movement at both ends. The idea is to reduce grabbing on defense and cut down on illegal screens on offense.

[RELATED: Two positives, two negatives from Warriors' preseason loss to Lakers]

The Warriors, heavy on off-ball action, including screens, have some work to do.

"It's definitely something the league is making a point of, for sure," Kerr said. "We'll have to adjust."

That they will. The Warriors rely on movement and screens to free up shooters, with Klay Thompson often the beneficiary. Curry got tagged three times on Monday night. He was slapped with another on Wednesday, as were Jonas Jerebko, Durant and Thompson, to name three others.

"It's tough for them to make that switch to the points of emphasis and how to call those things," Durant said. "Just be patient with them. We know it's early in the season.

"But when you're on the court, in the moment, sometimes it gets the best of you."

Officials typically have quick whistles in the preseason and early in the regular season before backing off as the season goes on. By March, everybody is on board.

Which is why Durant and Kerr were smiling, and why neither is especially worried.

"I'm pretty confident that they're not going to call 65 fouls and foul Kevin Durant out in 24 minutes when the regular season starts," Kerr said. "I'm pretty confident in that. And if they do, then we've got to talk.

"We have to understand what basketball is about," he added. "Officiating is an art form. There's a flow to the game that has to happen. And right now, we're putting the officials in a really tough spot because we're having them call everything. I know it's preseason. We're trying to make sure we have these points of emphasis. But there's got to be some flow to the game. There's got to be some pace. That's what people come out to see. And that's what makes the game beautiful.

"I'm very confident that we'll see that sorted that out. The league always does a great job of making sure the pace and the flow of the game is good."

Kerr is right. The Warriors know what they have to do. And if history is a guide, they usually respond properly.

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