Warriors practice takeaways: What we learned in first Chase Center session

Logan Murdock

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors practiced in Chase Center for the first time Friday afternoon in anticipation of Saturday afternoon's preseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers

Golden State will be short-handed in the contest, with big men Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein and Alen Smailagic all out due to various injuries. 

To get you ready for Saturday, here are the biggest takeaways from Friday's practice.

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Warriors look to find their rhythm

The Warriors enter the preseason in an unfamiliar spot. With eight new players -- just two older than 26 years old -- and three rookies, the Warriors will be looking to build chemistry instead of their usual practice of maintaining it. Against LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the learning curve will be steep.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr has simpler plans for his young group.  

"I want them to show they recognize our execution at both ends, what are we trying to do defensively," he said. "Scheme-wise, what our terminology is, can they make a call and get right into the action at both ends? That's kind of the first step into really understanding an identity for the team and those guys understanding what's being asked of them. To see it in a game setting will be really good for us." 

The Warriors will have to find their identity while their stars play limited minutes. Following Friday's practice, Kerr said Draymond Green and Stephen Curry would play no more than 20 minutes each. 

"If that," he said.

Over the last five years, the Warriors have been accustomed to championship-level rosters led by the superstar core of Green, Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. Now with Durant gone and Thompson rehabbing a torn ACL, Curry and Green have become de facto assistant coaches.

Green, a long-time vocal leader known to use any means to get a point across, said he's taking a different approach with a young group. 

"There's no tough love right now," Green said. "You figure that stuff out as time goes on but none of us really know each other except a few so you can't give a guy you know tough love that's fake as hell. You're going to give somebody tough love [and] you don't know if you love them yet.

" ... A lot more teaching. For us guys who have been here for a while, it's a little difficult some of these practices. But that's the reality of [the situation, and] you kind of knew that coming in. So we're kind of playing the players' role, but also coaching a little bit as well, too. The coaches, they're definitely approaching this a little differently, which is to be expected."

Christening Chase Center

The Warriors completed the latest part of their move to San Francisco, christening Chase Center with their first practice in the building ahead of Saturday's preseason opener.

"It's beautiful in here," Kerr said. "I think our players really enjoy getting a feel for it before we come out here tomorrow night in a real game." 

In the last month, Golden State's staff has been moving across the Bay into the billion-dollar Mission Bay arena. Among the group is Kerr, who moved to San Francisco from the East Bay this week. He spent his off time Thursday finding a veterinarian for his dog, Luna. 

"I'm trying to figure out where to go to get my coffee in the morning so you have to figure out a new routine," Kerr said. "But it's kind of fun. We didn't move far, but we're moving into a brand-new life." 

Kerr is one of many feeling the move from the East Bay. When the team played in Oakland, most of the team settled in the surrounding areas, including Berkeley, Oakland and as far north as Alamo. While the team moved just eight miles from its downtown Oakland facility, many are still adjusting to another way of life. 

"I feel like a rookie all over again," Green added. "Just trying to figure my life out. Moving and where to go and how to beat traffic. I feel like a rookie again." 

[RELATED: Draymond intent on discovering 3-ball for new-look Dubs]

Center Conundrum

Looney and Smailagic have now both been ruled out for Saturday's game, while Cauley-Stein is out for the remainder of training camp. The Warriors will have to get creative in their place Saturday.

Golden State likely start Omari Spellman, a second-year pro acquired in an offseason trade with the Atlanta Hawks, at center. Green also will get time in the frontcourt.  

Warriors practice takeaways: What we learned in first Chase Center session originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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