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.
Draymond Green said he's fine with Warriors being middle of the pack in 3-point attempts: "We're not about to go out there and hunt 3-point shots. Not happening. Everybody else can do that. We not doing that. I think our recipe's been pretty good. So, yeah, we cool."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 11, 2018
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