Steve Kerr

Andre Iguodala won't play vs. Raptors as Steve Kerr's plan comes too late

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AP

Andre Iguodala won't play vs. Raptors as Steve Kerr's plan comes too late

OAKLAND – Warriors coach Steve Kerr had a reasonable plan, but the day he finally felt comfortable unveiling it was too late for Andre Iguodala.

Because of injuries elsewhere on the roster, Iguodala had played in excess of 20 minutes for 15 consecutive games for the first time in nearly two years. Kerr knew Iguodala was overdue for a rest and vowed to oblige.

“I anticipate doing that at some point,” he said Monday, two hours before tipoff against Minnesota. “We’ve had to get through this stretch the last few weeks without Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green], so Shaun [Livingston] and Andre have pretty much played every night. But we will definitely be looking at some of those options.”

Twenty minutes after tipoff against the Minnesota Timberwolves, it was announced that Iguodala was out due to tightness in his right hip. It wasn’t serious, according to the Warriors, and Iguodala likely would be back Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Well, no, he won’t. The Warriors announced Wednesday morning that Iguodala would miss the game against the Raptors with the same hip tightness. On Wednesday evening, Kerr declared the 2015 Finals MVP as day-to-day.

No sooner than the Warriors get Curry and Green back -- each was sidelined for about three weeks – to form a healthy roster, they’re not as healthy as they thought.

[RELATED: NBA advance scout says Steve Kerr doesn't run a single play from Phil Jackson]

Iguodala turns 35 in January. His knees require routine maintenance. The Warriors have long acknowledged he is going to miss maybe 20 percent of the regular season. They accept it because Iguodala’s value rises appreciably in the postseason.

That’s why they’d like to rest him once roughly every couple weeks. The same applies to Livingston, who is only 33 but whose body has endured severe physical trauma.

“Shaun and Andre have come through this stretch really well,” Kerr said Monday. “And we have a long way to go, obviously, so I anticipate giving them a night off here and there.”

It’ll be at least two nights, out of necessity, for Iguodala, with the hope that Livingston – who has played at least 14 minutes in each of the last 15 games – can hang in long enough to get his rest once Iguodala is able to return.

Advance scout: Steve Kerr doesn't run a single play from Phil Jackson

Advance scout: Steve Kerr doesn't run a single play from Phil Jackson

Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Raptors game streaming live at 7:30 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Steve Kerr played for Phil Jackson for five seasons and has repeatedly said that the "Zen Master" has had an influence on his coaching philosophies.

However, in a recent feature story from Ethan Strauss of The Athletic, we learned that Kerr leans more on other coaches when it comes to play-calling. An advance scout provided Strauss a file on many of the Warriors' plays, and the scout's main takeaway:

“To be honest, looking through this playbook, I don’t see anything from Phil Jackson. Not one damned thing.”

But as Strauss writes:

To be fair, there is at least one damned Phil Jackson thing in the Warriors repertoire: an out of bounds play called “What The Fuc*” that dates back to the Bulls days. Perhaps there are some other plays, here and there. But in general, Jackson’s strategic influence on Kerr appears dwarfed by some coaches Kerr never even played for or worked with. Maybe Jackson’s impact is more subjective and generalized. Maybe the Zen Master’s legacy is a more abstract echo, like the loudest of one-handed claps.

This isn't much of a surprise because the "triangle offense" that Jackson ran with the Bulls and Lakers doesn't really have a place in today's NBA -- which is very 3-point happy.

Although the Warriors have shot 46 and 43 3-pointers over their last two games respectively, they are averaging 30.6 3-point attempts this season -- 17th most in the NBA. The Spurs average the fewest at 24.1 attempts per game, which is not a surprise considering Gregg Popovich has been very transparent in his disdain for the 3-point shot.

Another anecdote from Strauss' story, which shouldn't come as a surprise:

Popovich’s legacy looms largest, perhaps over the league and certainly over Kerr’s whiteboard. Pop’s “Weak Roll,” a play that gets the ball moving side to side, is an absolute favorite of Kerr’s. Our scout chuckles about Kerr’s proclivity with that one.

It appears that Draymond Green and Kerr are on the same page with this one...

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

Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins committed to appropriately deliberate rehab

Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins committed to appropriately deliberate rehab

OAKLAND -- If it seems like the Warriors are treating DeMarcus Cousins' return with the kind of extra care reserved for a valuable but not yet necessary asset, it's because they are and he is.

Coach Steve Kerr emphasized as much Monday, hours after Cousins worked out with the G League Warriors in Santa Cruz, when he conceded he had not yet talked with Cousins or Santa Cruz coach Aaron Miles.

“I assume it all went well,” Kerr said before the Warriors' game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “If it hadn’t, I would have heard by now.”

The plan, Kerr said, is to take it “day to day” with Cousins. No rush whatsoever.

Which is as it should be, if not week to week.

The Warriors didn’t need Cousins for Game 27 last Friday in Milwaukee against the Bucks, and they didn’t need him for Game 28 on Monday against the Timberwolves, either. They won’t need him for Game 29 or 30 or 31 or 32.

Truthfully, the Warriors’ résumé indicates they might not need Cousins at all.

Such casual conditions are why Cousins knows he can go to Santa Cruz and work up a copious sweat with the G League Warriors. Indeed, it’s why he volunteered to go.

“It was my idea,” Cousins told reporters after his first practice in Santa Cruz. “I wanted to come down. Before I want to step foot on the floor, I wanted to get in some type of basketball rhythm.

“That’s something me and the trainers kind of butted heads about. They have their idea of getting ready for a game, and I have mine. The last thing I wanted to do was go from doing drill work and 2-on-2 or 3-on-3, straight to an NBA game. I would be kind of shooting myself in the foot with that.”

For Cousins, you see, returning to the NBA is as much about pride as contractual obligation. He was an All-Star when he ruptured his left Achilles tendon in January, and he wants to be as close as possible to that level once he’s back in the lineup.

This is in total accordance with the Warriors, who express not the slightest hint iota of a whisper or a rumor about anything remotely resembling urgency.

“I just want to be in the best shape possible and the best rhythm possible before I actually step on the floor for an NBA game,” Cousins said.

[RELATED: Inside last year's convo with Kerr that changed Draymond's energy]

Dr. Rick Celebrini, the Warriors' new director of sports medicine and performance, is the man through whom Cousins has been working. And it will be Celebrini who decides when the big man is physical ready for the demands of an NBA game.

“It’s coming from Rick Celebrini rather than from our doctors,” Kerr said of Cousins’ ongoing rehab. “DeMarcus feels pretty good, and I think the Achilles is healing nicely, but it’s an injury that is unique in that your movement is really affected. Running and moving, when you are dealing with a sprained ankle or knee strain is one thing, but with an Achilles, from what I understand, and I have spoken with Jonas (Jerebko) about as well, it’s just different. You kind of have to get your bearings and that takes some time.”

Cousins went through a rigorous midday workout in Santa Cruz and later came to Oracle Arena, before the Warriors-Timberwolves game, to do individual shooting drills under assistant coach Chris DeMarco's supervision.

“I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Cousins said. “I’m extremely excited to get back on the floor.”

There is no plan for him to play in a G League game, and it’s not likely that he will.

That’s not why the Warriors signed him. They didn’t sign him to play in the NBA in December, either, though it can’t be ruled out. They don’t need him now.

But, boy, will Cousins come in handy for what’s anticipated in April, May and June.

Just as Kevin Durant made a great team appreciably greater, Cousins can make a versatile team far more versatile than it has been at any time during the most impressive run in franchise history.