Players finally getting over jet lag
The change came midway through Warriors practice Thursday. After watching his players — still jet-lagged from their recent trip to China — labor through half of the session, head coach Steve Kerr noticed them ratchet up their energy.
“It felt like the light went on,” Kerr said. “It felt like we were scrimmaging. It felt like the speed and the pace came back. I think we’re hopefully over the hump.”
Golden State’s weeklong tour of China took its toll. Though the Warriors built relationships — with fans, as well as companies — in the NBA’s largest international market, they managed only two practices there. It also hasn’t helped that, thanks to the jet leg that comes with a 15-hour time change, many players have been sleeping in only one- or two-hour intervals.
After returning Sunday night to the Bay Area, the team took Monday off. Its practice was cut short Tuesday because players were still exhausted. After a low-energy — albeit, much longer — practice Wednesday, the Warriors are finally beginning to put in meaningful work at practice.
It has been far from ideal for a team trying to defend its NBA title. Golden State finishes its preseason slate Friday against Sacramento, affording it three days to prepare for its regularseason opener against Houston.
“I’m not worried about anything,” said Kerr, who is still having a tough time getting his sleep cycle back on track. “Last year, we got beat by (29) points on opening night and won a championship. No matter what happens, it’s not really going to be a barometer or anything like
that. It’s more that this is a long haul. We’re trying to get our sea legs.”
Cuts: The Warriors plan to trim their roster after Friday’s exhibition, Kerr said.
NBA teams can carry 20man teams until cutting them down to 15 the day before the start of the regular season. Golden State is currently at 18 players, with 15 of those on fully guaranteed NBA contracts for the 2017-18 season. Odds are that Georges
Niang and Michael Gbinije will be waived Friday so the Warriors can designate them to their Gatorade League affiliate in Santa Cruz. Rookie Chris
Boucher, who has signed a two-way contract, is also on the Warriors’ training-camp roster, but isn’t playing in preseason as
he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in the Pac-12 tournament with Oregon.
Golden State has another two-way contract available, which could be used on Niang or Gbinije.
Speakers: Kerr likes to occasionally invite guests to speak to his team. Before Sunday’s exhibition win over Minnesota in Shanghai, Roger Federer visited the Warriors’ locker room. One person on Kerr’s wish list is author Malcolm Gladwell.
“I’d like to get him in front of the group this year,” Kerr said. “That’s kind of in the works if we can make it happen.”