LOS ANGELES – The early play was more choppy than impressive. But once the teams settled into a rhythm and simply played basketball, a glimpse of the new Warriors began to emerge.
They will be, a very, very different team on offense.
That's what first-year head coach Steve Kerr has promised, and some of those differences were highly visible in his unofficial debut, a 112-94 preseason win over the Clippers on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
"The exciting thing with us is we've got a lot of skill at multiple positions," Kerr said. "There were stretches when you could really see it. When the ball started to move – when it didn't stick, and we didn't turn it over – David (Lee) and Andrew (Bogut) can really make plays.
"And with the shooting we have, we should be able to stretch the floor and get the ball to the foul line area, to Andrew and David, and really attack from those areas.
"But we've got a long way to go. We had stretches that were great. And we have a lot of turnover issues as well. But I thought we got better."
Here are three quick observations from the preseason opener.
Kerr pledged to get Bogut more involved in the offense. Done. He got more touches in 17 minutes than he had in some entire games last season.
The result was encouraging for the Warriors: 10 points, on 5-of-5 shooting. Moreover, the big center showcased not only jump hooks and floaters but also splashed in a nice jumper from the elbow.
"I liked his left-handed hook in the lane," Kerr said. "If we get the ball to him on the block, he can score on his own with the spacing that we have around him. With our shooting, he should have a lot of one-on-one coverage. And I want him thinking that he's going to score down there."
Bogut moved with ease and confidence and, dare we say, grace. The clumsy scoring efforts of last season were not in evidence.
"This season there is going to be more asked of me offensively," Bogut said. "To try and be a playmaker and try to help guys out there and try to score the ball on the post when I catch it down there."
THE CURRY QUANDARY
Kerr has made a point of saying he wants to present Stephen Curry with more challenging defensive assignments. It's part of the evolution toward greatness, according to the coach.
So Curry on Tuesday drew the Chris Paul assignment that Mark Jackson used to gave to Klay Thompson. It did not go well for Curry, who fouled out in 18 minutes.
"First of all, we didn't care," Kerr said. "We were only planning on playing him 20 minutes anyway. We would have taken him out a lot earlier, when he had the foul trouble. Secondly, we kept him on Chris Paul the whole time, which we wanted to do just to get a look at it."
Part of Jackson's logic for shielding Curry from potent offensive players was to keep him on the floor, rightfully believing the Warriors would suffer greatly with their All-Star bound to the bench with foul trouble.
But Curry wants the challenge. And Kerr believes the Warriors are deep enough, and will have enough variation in their offense, to at least attempt the experiment.
Kerr's predecessor, Mark Jackson, tended to substitute in units. The new coach ran players in and out at a dizzying rate that surely will make it tougher on opponents.
Then again, his goal on Tuesday was to play a lot of people. He played 14 men.
There was Curry, sharing the floor with four reserves. There was Andre Iguodala, sharing the floor with four reserves. There was the starting lineup back on the floor, with one exception: Draymond Green for David Lee.
Don't be surprised if Kerr mixes and matches his rotations. Indeed, expect it.