Coach Steve Kerr addressed the Warriors’ recent roster changes as he explained how he envisions using key players in a starting lineup that will be vastly different than the past few seasons.
Kerr acknowledged that while coaching is a little different every year, “(t)his will be a lot different.” The most notable change comes with the loss of Kevin Durant, who joined the Nets in free agency this summer. Golden State managed to offset that loss, somewhat, by acquiring guard D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr on D’Angelo Russell: “He’s going to fit right in with our group. We’re going to need him, desperately.” pic.twitter.com/r5qrMB23Ck
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) August 5, 2019
Veteran Andre Iguodala also was traded to the Grizzlies, and Shaun Livingston was waived. Additionally, Klay Thompson will be out for the foreseeable future as he recovers from an ACL injury.
“It’s so different from the last few years where we could, barring disaster, we knew we were going to win a whole lot of games,” Kerr said (via the San Jose Mercury News). “It was a lot more about preparing for the playoffs and whether we won 57 games or 65 games, it didn’t really matter that much. What a luxury to be able to say that.
“Now with all the new additions and the losses we’ve had, it’s really about establishing who we are as a team. We don’t know who we are. We knew who we were the last five years. It’s a brand new challenge.”
With the departure of many key players, one question that remains is whether Kerr will increase Stephen Curry’s and Draymond Green’s workloads.
“It’s tough to say before we even get on the floor,” Kerr said. “But I’m not throwing them out there for 40 minutes a night. I know that.”
While Kerr is ready for a new challenge with the players who are returning and with many young, new players, he said one area they will have to focus on is the defensive end.
“I’m confident we’ll score points. We’ve added some guys who can put the ball in the basket. A bigger concern is defensively,” Kerr said. “We’ve lost really our ability to switch at multiple positions and do so with size and aggression.”
As for how Kerr plans to handle the rest of his roster? He said “the first month or two will be critical in terms of establishing our identity as a team.”