Warriors: Chris Paul to come off bench, Kevon Looney out against Kings

Golden State Warriors: Chris Paul will come off the bench for first time

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Chris Paul will make his first appearance off the bench for the Golden State Warriors against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Kevon Looney is out sick and will not play, forcing Steve Kerr to use a new starting lineup that includes Jonathan Kuminga at power forward and rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis at the five, as well as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins.

Paul has started all 1,214 regular season NBA games he has played in his career, as well as both preseason games this season. This season, the Warriors are hoping that Paul can revitalize the second unit offense.

“He just wants to win,” Kerr explained. “He wants to be a part of something special and win.” I told him that we needed him to be himself. He’s trying to fit in, and there are times when we need him to hit four mid-range jumpers in a row if the defense is playing a certain way. We’re looking for a safe haven for both him and us.”

Kerr stated that the plan is to try out a different starting lineup against the San Antonio Spurs in Friday’s preseason finale, and that the shakeup on Wednesday was to ensure they “see a lot of combinations and options.”

Jackson-Davis has impressed in his limited minutes thus far, most notably in an eight-point, four-rebound, one-block performance against the Los Angeles Lakers last week, and will make his first NBA start.

“He’s played really well and we want to see him more,” Kerr told the media. “It’s easier to start him now that Loon is gone.” Slide him in and give him some minutes with our starters; it’ll be valuable experience for him and will allow Dario (Saric) to play the role he’s more likely to play off the bench. It is consistent with our goals.”

Looney’s day off gives the Warriors’ front court players more time to tighten up on defense against Kings big man Domantas Sabonis. Golden State’s flowing offense has led them to a 3-0 record, more than making up for the team’s numerous defensive errors and bad fouls.

Draymond Green will miss the entire preseason while recovering from a sprained left ankle and is questionable for Opening Night next Tuesday. So far in the preseason, only Looney, Curry, and Paul have received rest days. Thompson, who missed the majority of the preseason last year as he got into playing shape, is expected to play against the Spurs.

The regular season begins on Oct. 24 against the Phoenix Suns, with Kevin Durant playing in front of fans for the first time since his free agency departure after the 2019 season.

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