Steve Kerr

Why Paul Pierce disagrees with Kevin Durant's critique of Warriors' offense


Why Paul Pierce disagrees with Kevin Durant's critique of Warriors' offense

Kevin Durant was very successful in Steve Kerr's offensive system.

Wanting a change from the isolation-centric game he played in Oklahoma City, Durant signed with the Warriors in the summer of 2016 and thrived in Kerr's ball-movement offense, helping lead the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals appearances and two titles.

After three years in the Bay, Durant chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason and recently discussed his time with the Warriors, decision to leave and friendship with new teammate Kyrie Irving with the Wall Street Journal. 

Durant also offered a critique of the offense Kerr runs, believing that eventually reached its ceiling in the system and he had to "dive into his bag" to create points during the later rounds of the playoffs after teams figured out the Dubs' attack. 

Is the two-time NBA Finals MVP's critique of Kerr's offense legit? Former Boston Celtics star and current ESPN analyst Paul Pierce isn't buying what KD is selling.

"This is part of what I'm talking about," Pierce said Wednesday on "The Jump." "You played for the No. 1 offense on the planet, you guys are winning championships, but then there's a complaint. Like, of course, the defense is going to get tougher the later rounds you get, but at some point -- yeah, you intermix a lot of 1-on-1 with the system. The system worked! It wasn't broken, and the reason they lost this year was because of the injuries. This is the type of stuff I'm talking about with KD. I don't get what he's searching for. Like it worked what you were doing." 

Nail meet head.

[RELATED: Draymond knows 'no one' wants to play Dubs in playoffs]

Durant will be out for most of, if not all of this upcoming season as he rehabs his ruptured Achilles. Will the Nets feature the offense KD is searching for when he returns?

While he and Irving should form a deadly combo, it's hard to see the Nets' offense being more effective than Kerr's system.

Steve Kerr says this Warriors season will resemble his first as coach

Steve Kerr says this Warriors season will resemble his first as coach

Where the Warriors play their home games this coming season will look a lot different than last. How the Warriors play those game will look a lot different, too.

Steve Kerr confirmed as much, as the Warriors head coach told The Athletic's Joe Vardon that Golden State's season is far more likely to resemble his first year at the helm rather than the most recent.

"That first year we had to implement everything -- that takes time,” Kerr said. “It’s exciting, and that’s what we’re going to do with the new group, so that’s really exciting.

“That part excites me," he continued. "It’s going to be much more similar to Year 1 for my staff."

As you might recall, that first season worked out just fine for Kerr & Co., as the Warriors won 67 regular-season games on their way to the franchise's first NBA title in 40 years. He'd obviously love for the season ahead to conclude the same way, but Kerr knows the Dubs have their work cut out for them.

Kevin Durant is gone, as are Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins. That's a lot of star power with championship experience that will be missing from the locker room, but Kerr argues there's an even tougher loss to overcome.

"Klay (Thompson) being out is really the big change,” Kerr admitted. “Losing Kevin, Andre, Shaun, obviously, those are huge losses. Losing Klay on top of all that really changes the way we’re going to have to play at both ends. Klay was always an integral part of everything. Movement on offense, but also the guarding of the ballhandler on defense, switching onto bigs. So until he gets back, we’ve got to re-imagine everything and adapt accordingly."

After tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the Finals, Thompson is expected to miss a significant portion of the coming season.

D'Angelo Russell, acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Nets, will be counted on to make up for the missing offense, but there will be growing pains in acclimating the new players on the roster.

"Lot of new beginnings, new arena, new roster, and probably some new things, style of play, strategy,” Kerr explained. “We’ll figure that out as we go. You always have to see how it looks on the court before you can really establish your identity. I’m excited about the challenge and it’s amazing it’s only a couple weeks away."

[RELATED: KD still searching for what slipped over time with Dubs]

Indeed it is.

Chase Center has already opened its doors for its inaugural events, and Opening Night will be here before we know it. When it does arrive, the Warriors won't be unveiling a new championship banner, and from a symbolic standpoint, that's just fine with Kerr.

"We can’t stop and think, ‘Are we this team?’ ‘Where do we stand with the hierarchy of the league?’” Kerr said. “Forget all of that, let everybody else discuss that. It’s part of the fun, we get it, of following the NBA, but we can’t let it be part of our own identity because we don’t control the narrative. We control what we can do on the floor and just be as good as we can be and see what happens."

Kevin Durant rips into Warriors coach Steve Kerr's motion offense

Kevin Durant rips into Warriors coach Steve Kerr's motion offense

Kevin Durant has spoken. 

After ditching the Warriors for the Nets in free agency with little-to-no reasoning, Durant opened up on everything from his messy Oklahoma City exit to his Achilles rehab to his Warriors tenure. That includes how he fit into Warriors coach Steve Kerr's offense. 

Durant previously has said he simply felt the Nets were the best destination for him. He didn't even talk with Brooklyn's front office -- he just knew. But perhaps style of play fit into his decision as well. 

Entering this summer's free agency fresh off an NBA Finals defeat and a torn Achilles, a part of Durant felt Golden State had reached its ceiling. And much of that has to do with Kerr's motion offense. 

"The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point," Durant said to the Wall Street Journal's J.R. Moehringer. "We can totally rely on our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we're going to have to mix in individual play. We've got to throw teams off, because they're smarter in that round of playoffs. 

"So now I have to dive into my bag, deep, to create stuff on my own, off the dribble, isos, pick-and-rolls, more so than let the offense create points for me." 

Durant, 30, is one of the greatest isolation players in NBA history. He can score off a jump shot, he can drive to the rim or he can back you down and fade over you with his 7-foot frame. But that's not how Kerr's offense works. 

In three seasons with the Warriors, Durant only hoisted 17.5 shots per game, down 1.6 from his 19.1 attempts across nine seasons with Seattle and Oklahoma City. On the other hand, his efficiency shot up as a Warrior under Kerr. 

KD shot 52.4 percent from the floor with the Warriors as opposed to 48.3 percent with the Sonics/Thunder. The ball wasn't in his hands as much, but Warriors' two championships makes it clear the system worked. 

Durant and Kerr were at odds a bit last season, especially down the stretch. Player and coach even disputed how much the two-time Finals MVP should shoot during the Warriors first-round matchup against the Clippers, with Kerr being in favor of more shots for his star forward. 

[RELATED: Kerr, Barbosa share special moment at FIBA World Cup]

Only time will tell if Durant is correct about Kerr and the Warriors. The same goes for if his game will work under new coach Kenny Atkinson in Brooklyn.

But regardless of what KD believes about Kerr's system, banners show it was pretty damn good basketball.