Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr feels great about defensive stoppers Gary Payton II & Andrew Wiggins being healthy to start the 2023-24 season.
(via Golden State Warriors):
Reporter: “Defensively, theoretically, you should have Gary Payton II for a full season at the start of the season, and same thing with having Andrew Wiggins for a full season. What’s that confidence like, that boost, to have those guys for a full season again?”
Kerr: “Yeah, it’s a big deal. We know what we are capable of defensively given the guys who have done it already. Two years ago, we were I think a top five defensive team if I’m not mistaken, second to Boston, I believe. So getting Gary back, being able to start the season with him is a big boost. Knock-on-wood, hopefully we stay healthy. But I think the defensive end is where it has to start. On the road last year, I think we were close to dead last. If not dead last, then right there, and on the road. It was a bizarre season in terms of the numbers. A lot of people talked about it being fluke-ish. But I believe that when a team is not well-connected, then the road is where that lack of connection will show. And I think that’s what happened last year. That’s why I’m going to really keep talking about this connection and the fact that we’ve got to bond and come together right away to get off to that good start.”