Warriors Set for Preseason Housewarming
Dubs Host Lakers on Saturday in First-Ever NBA Game at Chase Center
The Warriors will play their first game at Chase Center on Saturday against the Lakers
Less than 33 months after the first shovel hit dirt along 3rd Street in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors will play their first game at Chase Center this Saturday when they take on the Lakers in the preseason opener for both teams.
The homecoming will be a strong exclamation point on a week that began with Media Day on Monday and continued with four days of practice during Training Camp, Fueled by Gatorade. And after the first three days of practice took place in the Biofreeze Performance Center, located within Chase Center, the Dubs practiced Friday on the same floor they’ll take Saturday evening against Los Angeles.
“(There has) been so many concerts, events and stuff, so Chase (Center) has been buzzing for a while, but from a basketball perspective, it’s going to be our first chance to kind of enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the new sights and get used to a game day in San Francisco. I’m excited about it,” Stephen Curry said. “We’ll work out the kinks and October 24th, it’ll be on and poppin.’”
Twenty players have participated in practice with the Dubs this week. Among them are key returners including Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, along with 13 would-be first-year Warriors. Highlighting the new class of Dubs is D’Angelo Russell, who the Dubs acquired from Brooklyn in a deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Nets. The 23-year-old guard is coming off of an All-Star season in Brooklyn in which he set career-highs in scoring (21.1), field goal percentage (43.4), three-pointers made (2.9), three-point percentage (36.9) and assists (7.0).
“Man, I'm so excited. I'm trying to act like I've been here before, like I'm -- like this cool, 10-year vet. But no, this is so cool to me to play with Steph, Klay, Draymond, all those guys, to be able to be around Steve Kerr and his coaching staff, as well. I think it's just a luxury,” Russell said. “I played with them the first time last week, and I literally called my dad, my brother, and I was just like, ‘Yo, this is about to be so fun.’ So just being able to do that throughout the year and just being able to be a sponge to everything these guys are teaching and bouncing off me, I'm more than excited to do it.”
Saturday’s game will mark the beginning of a new era for the Dubs. A new building in a new city and a team with several new faces, but not all of them will be in uniform on Saturday. Thompson will be out until at least the All-Star Break as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, and center Willie Cauley-Stein’s Dubs debut will be delayed as he recovers from a left foot strain. Looney (hamstring) and Alen Smailagic (ankle) are also expected to miss Saturday’s game.
Although definitely not ideal, those injuries create opportunities for other Warriors who have been able to compete for playing time, and possibly a spot in the starting five, during this week’s training camp.
The journey is just getting started for the 2019-20 Warriors, but the first step of this marathon is certainly an exciting one. As Curry said, time to get it poppin’!
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