Steve Kerr

Kerr: Draymond's box outs vs Capela 'amazing,' keeping Rockets off glass 'a big deal'

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Kerr: Draymond's box outs vs Capela 'amazing,' keeping Rockets off glass 'a big deal'

On Feb. 15, the league announced that "box outs" would now be tracked as part of the "hustle stats" feature on NBA.com/stats.

Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, Draymond averaged 9.1 per game -- 11th most.

Draymond's box out numbers during the Western Conference Finals:

-Game 1 = 18
-Game 2 = 23
-Game 3 = 10 (surprisingly low)

"His box outs this series have been amazing," Steve Kerr said after practice on Monday. "(Clint) Capela is there every play and Draymond finds a way to box him out and still get his hand on the rebound and either get him himself or direct it to a teammate.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: 'This is my fu**ing house' -- Curry explodes in Game 3]

"Finishing a possession is such a big part of defense. It's not just field goal percentage defense. That's a good indicator but keeping them off the offensive glass is a big deal, too."

Capela averaged 4.1 offensive rebounds against Minnesota and Utah -- which led all players in the playoffs.

Over three games against the Warriors, Capela is averaging 2.7 o-boards.

Here is one example of what Kerr is talking about:

Draymond is not only racking up crazy box-out numbers, but he's also registering a lot of rebounds:

-Game 1 = 9
-Game 2 = 6
-Game 3 = 17

"I don't think you box out like you did 30 years ago," Kerr said. "But in this series I'm seeing a lot of traditional box outs from Draymond because Capela is down on the baseline.

"And as the shot goes up, Draymond's taking him out. He's doing a great job at that."

And as Steve Kerr said after the game on Sunday night:

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

Back with homecourt advantage, Warriors ready to rock with Roaracle crowd against Rockets

Back with homecourt advantage, Warriors ready to rock with Roaracle crowd against Rockets

OAKLAND -- Entering the postseason without the No. 1 overall seed for the first time under Steve Kerr, the Warriors claimed this new challenge, coming after bouts of tedium in the regular season, might be beneficial.

So they shrugged it off, saying that earning homecourt advantage throughout was, for this particular postseason, not the priority.

After splitting Games 1 and 2 against the Rockets in Houston, the Warriors now have it for the duration of their postseason run, beginning with Game 3 on Sunday. The defending champs can’t be dethroned unless a team wins at least one game at Oracle Arena.

Can the Warriors make that as difficult for opponents as it once was?

They seem to believe they can, and Kerr points to Curry as one of the reasons.

“Steph and Oracle, it’s a good combination,” he said.

Once that comment was relayed to him, Curry took it a step further.

The Warriors at Oracle are different,” he said.

The numbers, at least this season, serve to support Kerr more than Curry. His numbers, almost across the board, were slightly better at home. His scoring and assist averages were roughly the same, but all of his shooting percentages ticked upward while his turnover totals went down.

Oracle may be the remedy Curry needs. And if so, he may have to bring his teammates along.

After three seasons relative invincibility at home, the Warriors this season lost that sense of superiority. Following home records of 39-2, 39-2 and 36-5 over Kerr’s first three seasons, they were 29-12, exactly the same as on the road. Home losses to such sub-mediocre teams as Detroit and Charlotte and Sacramento (twice!) have a way of stripping away any and all edge.

Dropping home games to vastly inferior teams -- even if those teams are healthier -- are more the result of regular-season boredom than a sudden seismic shift. The playoffs are a different monster, and the Warriors know it.

The Warriors are 6-0 at home in these playoffs, with an average win margin of 13.3 points. They were 9-0 at home in the 2017 postseason, with an average margin of 16.9 points. Their 15-game win streak in home playoff games is a franchise record and ties them with the Bulls teams of the early 1990s for the NBA record.

“We have better pace at home,” Kerr said. “We just do. I don’t know why. It seems to be a universal dynamic in basketball. The home team generally gets a little more edge, a little more energy from the crowd and plays a little faster. And the way we play, that seems to be accentuated.”

Those are among the reasons the Warriors are solid favorites for Game 3. They want to make amends for the unbecoming effort displayed in Game 2, but the postseason atmosphere at Oracle is special.

“The crowd helps a lot, helps a ton,” Klay Thompson said.

“We all love playing in front of our home crowd,” Curry said. “If we had a choice of where you want to play, we’d choose Oracle every day of the week.

“We’ve always talked about... even when we start a series out at home, you start off well and go on the road and maybe split. When you come home for that Game 5, it’s not just showing up at home that means you’re going to walk into a win. You’ve got to have the right execution and the right mindset going in to allow the crowd to be into it, to allow the fireworks to start.”

The Warriors, it could be said, owe the Rockets one. It was Houston that came into Oracle on opening night, roughly seven months ago, and spoiled the evening on which the Warriors received their championship rings.

The Rockets not only won but did so in perhaps the most impressive way possible, falling behind by 13 entering the fourth quarter and then chasing down the Warriors. That kind of meltdown doesn’t happen to team that owns its house.

If the Warriors still own their house, it’ll become apparent in Game 3. They didn’t seek homecourt advantage, but now they have it. As much as they earned it, it’s only as valuable as they make it.

 

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5 p.m.
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6 p.m.
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6 p.m.
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6 p.m. (if necessary)

The time Steve Kerr nearly got in a brawl with a friend over a game of shuffleboard

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The time Steve Kerr nearly got in a brawl with a friend over a game of shuffleboard

Steve Kerr is...

... extremely competitive.

If you didn't know that before he became the head coach of the Warriors, you certainly know that now.

On Friday morning, Ethan Strauss of The Athletic wrote a feature story on Kerr, entitled: The Steve Kerr Duality: Getting from Mr. Nice Guy to ‘rips your head off.'

Kerr and Jud Buechler were college teammates at Arizona and remain friends to this day.

Here is an excerpt from Strauss' story:

Buechler knows Kerr’s harder edge from some experience. Kerr nearly fought him over a game of horse collar shuffleboard at a Palm Springs area bar, about a decade ago.

Nobody involved can identify what sparked an almost brawl that had to be broken up. It’s simply summarized as “We were talking sh*t to each other.” Fortunately, Mr. Nice Guy was back the next morning to hug it out with Jud and end the Great Horse Collar Feud of La Quinta, California.

Kerr’s moments of menace pass, but in those moments, no stakes are so low that they can’t be considered so high.

Consider yourself warned -- don't ever challenge Kerr to a game of ping-pong unless you are prepared for battle...
 

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5pm
Game 4 Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm
Game 5 Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm
Game 6 Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm


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