Kerr on Sixth Man award: 'There's no way anyone is better than Andre'

Kerr on Sixth Man award: 'There's no way anyone is better than Andre'

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr typically avoids campaigning for his players to get individual awards. He made an exception on Friday.

He made a passionate, and reasoned, pitch for Andre Iguodala to win the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.

“I don't know if I've ever really pushed any of our players for awards -- Steph (Curry) for MVP, Draymond (Green)for Defensive Player of the Year,” Kerr said prior to tipoff against Houston at Oracle Arena. “Maybe i have. It's not something I normally do. But I am sort of intrigued by the Sixth Man of the Year award. It seems like it should just say ‘highest scoring player off the bench’ award. Depends on how people look at it.

“But if you want to look at the best Sixth Man in the game, in terms of winning, there's no way anyone is better than Andre.”

Insofar as Iguodala is a significant component of what the Warriors do on offense and defense, his value is not as tangible as such bench scorers as Rockets guards Eric Gordon and Lou Williams, or Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who has won the award three times.

Scoring is why Williams, at 17.8 per game this season, is a leading contender. Gordon, at 16.3 is right behind him. Crawford is averaging 12.4 points, his lowest since 2002-03.

Iguodala’s point totals almost never jump off the page. He’s averaging 7.3 points and 4.0 assists. He leads all non-starters in Real Plus-Minus at 3.32, better than such All-Stars as Washington’s John Wall (3.12), Utah’s Gordon Hayward (3.02) and Indiana’s Paul George (2.16).

“He's like a starter for us,” Kerr said. “He's played backup point guard. He's currently our backup power forward. He guards the best player every single night -- Kawhi Leonard, James Harden. He comes in and automatically guards the best guy. I think he leads the league in assist to turnover ratio (he does, at 4.58, well ahead of Chris Paul’s 3.86). This guy, he's phenomenal.

“But people are going to look at the stats and go, well, he's averaging six, seven points, however many. Then they're going to find someone who averages 17 and say: 'I'm going to vote for that guy.'

“But those of you with votes, I'll remind you that this game is about more than just scoring. There's my push for Andre. He'll probably cuss me out for it."

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”