Warriors

Kerr calls shootaround, details the concepts Warriors need to get in order

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USATI

Kerr calls shootaround, details the concepts Warriors need to get in order

The Warriors practiced on Wednesday night in San Antonio and weren't going to have a shootaround before facing the Spurs.

But plans changed and Steve Kerr decided to get his team in the gym on Thursday morning.

"Early in the season, we're still gonna have some shootarounds," Kerr told reporters. "Normally, with a two-hour time change, we let the guys sleep in; we have an optional shootaround, but I still feel like we need a little work."

So what did the Warriors focus on at shootaround?

"A lot of concepts. Our offense is obviously free-flowing and we don't always play out of sets, but we play out of concepts and we need to get our concepts in order," Kerr answered. "Drive and kick -- drive and kick against the Clippers was great; our best game of the year. But it's worth going over in terms of drill work and conceptually talking about what we're trying to do.

"Among other situations as well -- some late-game execution stuff, 3-point defense, specialty stuff that maybe we haven't had much time to go over."

The Warriors scored a season-high 141 points against the Clippers, while racking up a season-high 37 assists.

But as always, Kerr stressed the other end of the floor.

"If we don't play defense, we're just in a pickup game," Kerr said. "Our whole identity is built on our defense, more than our offense. The defense is what sets up the transition and what sets up the flow and the pace we like to play with."

The Warriors are currently 25th in defensive rating (108.3) and 21st in 3-point defense (37.7 percent).

Kerr can't be happy about that.

He also isn't happy with the result of Game 7 of the World Series.

"It's been 29 years since my team won. Helluva season, though. It was fun to watch. Last night was frustrating. A lot of guys left on base.

"But who cares about my baseball opinion. Why are you guys asking me about the Dodgers?"

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

 

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

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USATSI

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

When it rains, it pours for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After starting the season 24-9, they have cratered. Including two losses to the Warriors and one to the Kings, the Cavs are 3-8 over their last 11 games.

During the stretch, they suffered through a four-game losing streak and nearly blew a 23-point lead against the Magic on Thursday.

But nothing was worse than what happened in front of a national TV audience on Saturday. The visiting Oklahoma City Thunder strolled into Quicken Loans Arena and hung 148 points on the defending Eastern Conference champs and won by 24 points.

Saturday's performance was so bad, former Cavs head coach David Blatt took a shot at them before coaching the Team Europe in the Turkish Basketball Super League All-Star Game in Instabul.

Asked by a sideline reporter for his thoughts on the game he was about to coach, Blatt offered this:

"Well, I don't think we're going to have any problem scoring. I'm just wondering if we're going to defend anybody. That's what I'm worried about," Blatt said.

The reporter followed up by asking for his expectation of the final score. That's when Blatt threw a haymaker at the team that fired him during the 2015-16 season despite a 30-11 record.

"Well, I hope we don't give up as many points as the Cavaliers did last night," Blatt said.

Ouch.

Unfortunately for Blatt, Team Europe lost 151-142 to Team Asia.

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

The Rockets are riding high after their 116-108 win over the Warriors on Saturday night.

Maybe a little too high.

After the game, starting center Clint Capela had some bold things to say about the rivalry.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them. We've got to keep playing. We know that they're going to come back if we have the lead, and we've just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we're doing what we're supposed to do on defense -- all the switches, the weak side -- and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them. We are better than them," Capela told ESPN after the game in Houston.

The young big man doubled down.

"We're definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy. We've definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we're excited because it's the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed," Capela told ESPN.

Guard Eric Gordon didn't go as far, but still compared the Rockets favorably to the Warriors.

"Offensively, we're just as good as them, no question. Defensively, they're a championship team. They're consistent, whether they win or lose. Us, we still have peaks and valleys. We just can't have those. That's why we've got to play well the next game, because we just have to sustain the same effort," Gordon said via ESPN.

The Rockets won the season-series with the Warriors by taking two out of the three meetings. They now trail the Warriors by 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.

But are they really better than the defending NBA champs? Are the Warriors worried at all about the Rockets?

"The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn't matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point," Warriors forward Kevin Durant told ESPN after the game.

Draymond Green really didn't want to hear about home-court advantage.

"It's game 40-what? Seven, eight? Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road," told reporters after the game.

With no more meetings during the regular season, the next time the two teams could meet, assuming they finish with the top two seeds, is in the Western Conference Finals. So we'll have to wait until May to see if the Rockets can back up the tough talk.