Count Steve Kerr among the supporters for a shortened NBA preseason. “I kind of like the idea that’s been tossed around the last couple summers to start the regular season a little earlier, maybe a week early,” Kerr said Thursday afternoon after Warriors practice. “Play five exhibition games instead of eight. I kind of like that, just so you have fewer back-to-backs in the regular season.”
Last October, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told USA today that the league is inching closer to reducing the number of preseason games. With most players staying in shape year-round these days, many teams see little need for a four-week acclimation period before the regular season.
That Kerr is a fan of limiting players’ workloads is no surprise, of course. This is the head coach who creates game plans and workouts with an eye toward maintenance. In Saturday’s preseason opener against Toronto in Vancouver, British Columbia, he is expected to play no one more than 20 minutes. His practices include no wind sprints. He plans to rest starters from time to time in the regular season, even if that comes at the expense of wins.
“A month is usually enough time to get their legs underneath them,” said Kerr, whose Golden State team has a seven-game preseason schedule this year that includes stops in non-NBA cities Vancouver, San Jose, Las Vegas and San Diego. “The starters will be ready to play 30-plus minutes” in the regular season.
The Warriors announced their preseason broadcast schedule Thursday. One game is on NBA TV (Saturday against the Raptors), two are on ESPN (Oct. 4 against the Clippers, Oct. 19 against the Lakers), and two are on CSN Bay Area (Oct. 15 against the Lakers, Oct. 21 against the Trail Blazers). … Golden State also announced its promotional schedule Thursday for the 2016-17 season. There will be six bobble-head nights, six T-shirt giveaways and 12 heritage nights.