Kelly Oubre Jr.'s Warriors teammates were more excited than he was when he finally made his first 3-pointer of the season in Tuesday night's win over the Detroit Pistons.
If Oubre has won over Golden State's players in the same way he has won over its coaching staff, you can easily understand his teammates' excitement.
"He is really competitive. I love his energy and his effort, his defensive intensity," coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thursday in a video conference. " ... And he just cares. He really, really wants to do well and wants to win."
Oubre's fourth regular-season game with the Warriors was his best, and it's not particularly close. The 25-year-old scored 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and compiled two blocks and two steals.
The Warriors were outscored by 43 points with Oubre on the court against the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks in the first two games of the season, but Oubre was plus-17 in just under an hour of total playing time against the Chicago Bulls and Pistons to close out the road trip. Oubre also made 60 percent of his shots -- including five of six from inside the 3-point line -- Tuesday in Chicago.
Is that the start of a meaningful turnaround, or a brief sojourn from his slump? Kerr's betting on Oubre to keep it up Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
"I think -- if anything -- that may be why he has pressed with his shot," Kerr continued. "He wants to make every single one of them, but I just love coaching him and I love watching him compete."
The Warriors' pursuit of a playoff spot hinges on Oubre being a consistent performer.
Kerr's not going to question the wing's effort anytime soon, and he -- along with Oubre's teammates -- believe Tuesday's slump-busting performance is a sign of things to come.