Warriors deploy strategy to maximize potential ahead of Game 1 vs. Lakers

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The Golden State Warriors chose not to hold a shootaround in preparation for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Warriors advanced to face the Lakers with a strong 120-100 victory in Game 7 of the team’s first-round series against the Sacramento Kings.

One of the reasons why Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is focused on giving his team some added rest is the relatively advanced ages of three of the team’s stars. Stephen Curry is 35 years old while Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are both 33 and once again trying to make a deep postseason run.

Kerr’s career playoff record as Warriors head coach offers strong evidence that his strategy is a wise approach. Since being hired in 2014, Kerr has taken the team to the NBA Finals six times, including five consecutive trips from 2015 to 2019.

During that span, the Warriors captured three NBA titles and then added another last season. In all of those championship runs, Curry, Thompson and Green served as key parts of the team’s lineup.

The practice of teams conducting morning shootarounds dates back to former Lakers head coach Bill Sharman. While still playing with the Boston Celtics, Sharman began the practice on his own.

Once Sharman entered the coaching ranks, he adopted the approach for his teams. During his first season at the helm of the Lakers, the strategy coincided with a record-setting 1971-72 campaign.

That year, the Lakers established a new NBA record with 69 wins and just 13 losses in the regular season. That high level of success continued into the postseason, with the team finally delivering the franchise’s first league title after moving to Los Angeles in 1960.

Other teams soon adopted the approach, and it’s become a standard part of life in the NBA.

The Lakers have been off since closing out the Memphis Grizzlies with a blowout win last Friday night. While the Lakers have gotten more rest than the Warriors, they still have a stiff challenge ahead of them.

After Tuesday night’s game at Chase Center, the two teams will play Game 2 there on Thursday night. The series will then shift to Los Angeles for games on Saturday and Monday night.

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Brad is a freelance writer for LakersDaily.com, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.