Getty Images

SACRAMENTO -- From an outside perspective, the solution seems so simple. In the Golden State Warriors' Game 1 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday, they were outscored by 14 points with Steph Curry on the bench. The Warriors lost by three.

The math isn't hard: More Steph minutes equal better performance. So just play Steph more. Boom, adjustments done.

Curry played 37 minutes on Friday, above his season average of 35 but well under the toll we've seen other superstars routinely tackle in playoff games -- for instance, Donovan Mitchell played 44 minutes in the Cavs' opening game against the Knicks on Saturday, and Kings guard De'Aaron Fox played over 40 minutes against the Warriors, including almost the entire second half. In the 11 minutes that Curry sat, the Warriors were simply obliterated on both ends.

Game 1 vs. KingsCurry OnCurry OffDiff.

Warriors off. rating




Warriors def. rating




Despite the desperate pleas from Dub Nation, playing Curry more in Game 2 simply isn't on the table. At least according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

"I don't regret resting him. I think he's a player who has to work so hard at both ends -- with the ball in his hands, but also defensively," Kerr said on Sunday. "I think playing Steph 40-plus minutes isn't the answer. The answer is handling the non-Steph minutes better, and that's something we've got to do."

So while you won't see more of Curry in Game 2 (Kerr did hint that the two days off between Games 2 and 3, and also Games 3 and 4 could play a factor in perhaps increasing his star's playing time), here are two adjustments that you can expect from the Warriors on Monday night in Sacramento.

Adjustment 1: Keep the Kings off the glass

Every Warrior who has spoken to the media has pointed out one major cause for Saturday's loss -- Sacramento's 17 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second-chance points. While it's difficult to make major tweaks to your scheme or rotations at this point in the season, it's quite easy and practical to tell your players to box out.

"You watch the tape, it's just, shot goes up and you're looking at the ball. You can't do that," Kerr said on Sunday. "The shot goes up, you have to find the free man and go get him. Go box him out. And we didn't do that. So, that has nothing to do with size."

Kings big man Domantas Sabonis snagged five offensive boards -- not too surprising, since he averaged three per game while leading the NBA in rebounding this season. It's the other ones, from the likes of Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray, that Kerr expects his team to prevent.

Here's a perfect example, one that Kerr likely showed during his team's film session on Sunday, where first Klay Thompson fails to box out Barnes, who gets inside position for the offensive rebound. Then, on the ensuing jumper, Barnes races right past Curry completely unchecked for the put-back of Murray's miss.

"We just got to hit back -- better yet, hit first," said Warriors guard Gary Payton II, who had four rebounds in 20 minutes in Game 1. "Just make sure when the shot goes up, we find guys who's crashing, and we just make it an emphasis."

Adjustment 2: Shot selection

The level of shot-making from both teams in the fourth quarter of Game 1 was off the charts, leading to one of the most exciting postseason exchanges in recent memory. When it came down to crunch time, however, the Warriors made some questionable decisions. Thompson's heavily contested step-back 3-point attempt with three and a half minutes remaining cost Warriors fans plenty of sleep on Saturday night.

Then there was this sequence with just under two minutes left and the Warriors trailing by four. Thompson misses another well-contested 3-pointer, then Andrew Wiggins -- who otherwise played extremely well in his first game in over two months -- quickly hoists another 3-pointer after the offensive rebound.

The Warriors have long walked the fine line between confidence and impetuousness, and these shots bordered on the latter.

"We want our guys aggressive and loose and free and we want them to be uninhibited out there," Kerr said on Sunday. "But at the same time, we want them to recognize that we can go from good to great. We had a lot of good shots. We can get great shots, and we know that from re-watching the film. We have to make them guard for longer stretches."

Kings coach Mike Brown, who knows firsthand that a bad shot for anyone else can be a great shot for Curry, Thompson or even Jordan Poole, was proud of the way his team contested shots in Game 1 without fouling 3-point shooters.

"I was impressed with them because they did exactly how we told them," Brown said on Sunday. "If you jump towards their body, they're great at -- whether it's sticking their leg out or extending their arm into you -- and they're gonna get the call because of who they are. For our guys to contest without doing that, I thought was a big thing overall."

With the Kings contesting shots and the Warriors unable to draw three-shot fouls, you can expect that better shot selection and patience will be points of emphasis on Monday night. Golden State wants to play with pace, but they also need to make Sacramento's defense provide multiple efforts in order to get the best shot possible.

That certainly does not mean that the Warriors are going to be timid, however. Thompson, who went 5 for 14 from 3-point range in Game 1, said that his looks "felt great" and that the confidence in himself and his teammates will never waver.

"We're just gonna do what we do. We're gonna take take tough shots, we're gonna make tough shots," Thompson said. "Been doing it for 10 years and I'm not gonna get discouraged after one bad shooting night. Like, freakin' A. I've been doing this for a long time."