Draymond key to any Kerr adjustment: 'Got to be more active'


Draymond key to any Kerr adjustment: 'Got to be more active'

CLEVELAND -– In the wake of the Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Finals reaping the benefits of a forced change in their starting lineup, the Warriors now must make an adjustment as the teams prepare for Game 4 Friday night.

As coach Steve Kerr explores his options, there is little doubt that any move he makes will impact forward Draymond Green.

None of the Warriors were more adversely affected than Green when Cleveland turned to Richard Jefferson to replace power forward Kevin Love, who is going through NBA concussion protocol.

Moving Jefferson in at small forward pushes LeBron James to power forward, pretty much eradicating the crucial advantage Green could exploit against Love. If Love is a Clydesdale, James is a thoroughbred. Which makes Green’s challenge exponentially more difficult.

“That's fine,” Green said Thursday, prior to practice at Quicken Loans Arena. “I think I've got to be more active on the offensive end and kind of wear him out more. I don't think I was that active or aggressive last night. So I'll be more aggressive and like my chances.”

[RELATED: Curry on pace for third worst finals by reigning MVP]

James poses challenges at both ends, and in Game 3 he was a decisive winner over Green –- and anybody else the Warriors threw at him. James totaled 32 points (14-of -26 shooting), 11 rebounds and six assists in a 120-90 Cavs win. Green countered with 8 points (2-of-8 shooting), seven rebounds and seven assists.

One glaring difference between Green vs. Love and Green vs. James is that Green found more ways to attack Love’s defense than he did that of James. Love’s lack of lateral quickness gave Green openings that were not there against James.

It’s the kind of space that would be available to Green if he were to go against, say, Cavs big man Tristan Thompson, who presents a problem only with his prolific offensive rebounding.

A change there, though, would mean giving Green more minutes at center, which would mean more bench time Andrew Bogut –- who likely would step aside so Kerr could insert Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup. That’s one way to give Green more space with which to operate while also having someone else, Iguodala, cope with James.

Kerr believes his team would trust any move he makes and roll with it.

“Our guys are all understanding that you go with whatever the best lineup us and, top to bottom, our team is professional and supportive of one another,” he said. “So it’s always just ‘Are we going to be better off matchup-wise, or are we going to be better off with a certain rotation that allows one guy to guard somebody specifically on the other team?’ We watch the film and we make that decision.”

[RELATED: Report: Love practices but won't be cleared to play Thursday]

When Kerr swapped Bogut for Iguodala after Game 3 of the 2015 Finals, the Warriors came out of a 2-1 hole to win three straight and take the series.

When Kerr swapped Harrison Barnes for Iguodala in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals 10 days ago, the Warriors prevailed to advance to The Finals for the second consecutive season.

The options are there, if Kerr so chooses, and he typically won’t provide even the slightest indication in advance. It may come down to whether he considers Game 3 a one-game deviation from the norm or a symptom of the Warriors struggling with Cleveland’s altered lineup.

“Usually, I would say what happens is teams adjust after struggles,” Kerr said. “Because if you get to the playoffs, you get deep in the playoffs, generally speaking you’ve played kind of a similar rotation, a similar style all year. If you make an adjustment before Game 1, the team’s looking at you like, ‘What are we doing? We’re pretty good.’

“So, usually, both teams kind of wait at least a couple games before they make any dramatic move. Then it sort of goes back and forth from there.”

No matter what change Kerr makes, if he makes one at all, Green will have to find a way to be more effective. No doubt guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson also have to be more productive – and there is no adjustment that changes their roles – but Green is this team’s fire starter.

His plan is to worry later about his matchup but to act now on his own behalf.

“Just be me, play more aggressive,” Green said. “Obviously, let the game come to me. But be way more aggressive and more accurate than I was (in Game 3).”

Kevin Durant explains why the Warriors don't need to re-recruit him

Kevin Durant explains why the Warriors don't need to re-recruit him

When he becomes a free agent on July 1, Kevin Durant is going to have multiple suitors lined up.

We have no clue if the two-time Finals MVP is going to hold pitch meetings like he did in the summer of 2016, but we do know that several franchises will be recruting him hard.

Apparently, the Warriors don't really need to do any recruiting.

[RELATED: Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation]

“I don’t need to feel appreciated,” Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports after the Warriors' 108-100 win over the Thunder on Tuesday. "I don’t need anything extra (from the Warriors).

"I’m just here to hoop and win games. I already know what this organization is about.”

A week before training camp opened, Joe Lacob said "of course" the Warriors will need to re-recruit Durant.

He echoed those thoughts during an appearance on NBC Sports Bay Area before the game last night.

"We're going to try to recruit him, and I'm actually optimistic," Lacob said. "I don't know why ...  I'm frankly not going to worry about it until the year's over with.

"I think Kevin and we should just go through the season, do our thing, and we'll all find out next year."

If only it were that simple. Durant's future is being discussed on a daily basis and we all know that isn't going to stop.

There are going to be occasions this season when Durant is asked about free agency and he's not going to be... polite.

Consider yourself warned.

“It depends on how I feel that day,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “If I’m in a (expletive)-up mood, you’re going to see. Ask me that question and you’re going to really see what mood I’m in.”

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

Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation

Kevin Durant's brother clarifies comment that led to free agent speculation

So here's what happened ...

After the Warriors' win over the Thunder on Tuesday night, Kevin Durant posted a series of six photos to Instagram with the caption: "1 down, 81 more. What a night!!"

View this post on Instagram

1 down, 81 more. What a night!!

A post shared by 35 (@easymoneysniper) on

Durant's brother, Tony, left the following comment: "Yessir brother!!!! Filling the hand up before we get outta here!"

[RELATED: Joe Lacob optimistic Warriors will re-sign Kevin Durant in free agency]

It's understandable for people to have interpreted this as a bad sign for the Warriors when it comes to Durant's future with the franchise. But on Wednesday morning, Tony responded on Instagram with the following explanation:

Tony posted an additional comment saying: "delete this post it's not accurate lmaooo report this true stuff please brother."

If in fact Tony does know that Kevin is leaving Golden State in July, and if that is what he intended to convey in his original comment ... that would be a very odd thing to do.

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