The Warriors’ preseason opener Saturday at Chase Center will be their first game in just over nine months.
Their opponents didn’t have nearly as long of an offseason.
Golden State last played on March 10, a day before the NBA suspended the 2019-20 regular season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Warriors weren’t one of the 22 teams to participate in the restarted regular season in the NBA’s bubble just outside of Orlando, Fla.. The Denver Nuggets, Golden State’s opponents, were, making it all the way to the Western Conference finals.
As a result, the Warriors had a layoff that was nearly seven months longer than the Nuggets’. Two hundred days to be exact, according to the Warriors’ public relations department.
Tonight’s preseason contest marks the Warriors’ first game since March 10 (vs. the L.A. Clippers), a span of 277 days. Denver last played 77 days ago in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on September 26.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 12, 2020
That’s par for the course ahead of a season that’ll be anything but. Dec. 22, the opening night of the 2020-21 regular season, is just over two months after the Los Angeles Lakers dispatched the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals on Oct. 11. The league, amid a pandemic that is far deadlier and more widespread than it was when the season was paused in March or restarted in July, is attempting to play a 72-game season ending by July 22 that will allow for a more typical calendar next season.
With over nine months to rest and recuperate following five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in the preceding handful of seasons, the Warriors are hoping to be recharged heading into the season. They reloaded the roster, adding fresh faces like Kelly Oubre Jr., Brad Wanamaker and No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman, as well as a familiar one in Kent Bazemore. Neither Wiseman nor Draymond Green are expected to play in the preseason, but both players will have had significant time off by the time they finally take the court with their teammates.
The games start coming very quickly just 10 days after the preseason opener, so any rest advantage the Warriors will have over their opponents might not last very long. They could have quite a bit more energy in their legs Saturday against the Nuggets, though.