Three Takeaways From Day 1 of Warriors Training Camp

Mary Raleigh
04/10/2023

Chris Paul Gets Starting Nod in Preseason Opener
Head Coach Steve Kerr revealed that Chris Paul will join Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney in the starting lineup for their preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. Paul played with this unit on the first day of camp, his first training camp with the Warriors. Kerr did say that the team will be experimenting with “a lot of different lineups for the exhibition season.” He has mentioned that he believes this team has six starters, but only five of those players are available with the injury to Draymond Green.

Despite starting Paul and Curry together in the preseason opener, Kerr believes the 12-time All-Star can make his most significant imprint in the non-Curry minutes.

“His biggest impact will be running the offense when Steph isn’t on the floor,” Kerr said. “We’ve never generated really good offense when Steph is off the floor.”

Update on Draymond Green’s Injury
The Warriors opened their first day of camp without four-time All-Star Draymond Green, who suffered a left lateral ankle sprain. Green spoke about the injury on Media Day.

“I was just playing pickup,” Green said. “I was going up for a lay-up and came down on JK’s (Jonathan Kuminga’s) foot. But I feel good. I feel like I’m improving fast.”

Although he could not practice with the team, Green did “ride the exercise bike like crazy,” according to Kerr and did lift weights.

“He’s a quick healer and the swelling in his ankle has gone down,” Kerr said. “He’s going to do everything he can to be ready.”

Steve Kerr Seeks to Re-Establish a Top 10 Defense

After slipping from second in defensive rating in their championship season to 14th last season, Kerr has prioritized re-establishing the Warriors as a top-10 defensive unit. Kerr will be gaining some defensive reinforcements this season and he specifically highlighted a full season of Gary Payton II, who he coined “one of the best on-ball defenders in the world.” Payton played just seven regular season games with the Dubs last season after being traded back to the Bay in February.

“We’ll be able to establish our defense easier with his [Gary’s] presence,” Kerr said.

Kerr also has strong defensive aspirations for former All-Defensive team guard Klay Thompson. He envisions Thompson being able to guard power forwards in smaller lineups using his physical strength and technique to guard post players.

“He’s so physically strong and good at guarding in the post,” Kerr said. “We’re planning on having him [Thompson] guard the four this season.”

 

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