Warriors

Kerr embracing Warriors' adversity: 'This is going to sound crazy...'

Kerr embracing Warriors' adversity: 'This is going to sound crazy...'

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OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr and his staff have returned to the lab. After five losses in seven games, a massive slump by their standards, the Warriors are back to experimenting with the roster.

“We’ve had a lot of slippage in our game, and anytime you hit adversity it’s a great time to reflect, a great time to reassess what you’re doing,” Kerr said. “We picked apart some things on the film that we can do much better.”

Their timing is impeccable, as they happen to be at home all week and their next two opponents, the 76ers and the Magic, are a combined 48-86.

[RELATED: Steph Curry doesn't believe he's in a slump: 'Just missing shots']

Without Kevin Durant, the Warriors haven’t looked like the Warriors. Their offensive spacing is easier to defend, and their defense in the paint is easier to exploit. Both offensive and defensive ratings have suffered.

“This is going to sound crazy: I kind of like it,” Kerr said. “I actually kind of like it. You need some adversity. We obviously have some, probably for the first time in two-and-a-half years in the regular season.

“Adversity can help. It forces you to examine what you’re doing and clean some things up and get right. This is going to be good for us in the long run, because we’re going to tighten up a lot of things.”

The Warriors prior to losing Durant were averaging 118.1 points per game and were held under 90 once in 59 games. In the seven games since, they’ve averaged 100.0 points and have been held under 90 three times.

“There have been times we’ve had slippage,” forward Andre Iguodala said, “and we haven’t been able to hold leads or continue to expand them.”

The Warriors couldn’t hold leads of three points against Minnesota, eight against Boston and, most surprisingly, 10 against Chicago.

The loss of Durant has thrown rotations into chaos.

Making it harder is the fact that Shaun Livingston, generally able to furnish offense with reliable midrange shooting off the bench, is struggling. He’s 3-of-22 over the last six.

The upshot is there could be more Ian Clark and, maybe, more use of a big-man combo of David West and James Michael McAdoo.

“We may tweak some things in the rotation,” Kerr said. “I’m going to explore some different things the next few games.

“No excuses now. We’re home all week, the schedule turns our way . . . let’s get back to who we are.”

Warriors star Kevin Durant follows Russell Westbrook on Instagram

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Warriors star Kevin Durant follows Russell Westbrook on Instagram

There may be hope for Jimmy Butler to mend fences in Minnesota after all.

It appears ex-Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on better terms. Durant started following the Thunder point guard on Instagram Saturday.

Durant and Westbrook played together for eight seasons in Oklahoma City, but their relationship seemingly turned sour after Durant joined the Golden State Warriors in free agency in 2016. Westbrook was reportedly not happy Durant spurned OKC for the Bay Area, and the two jawed at times during various Thunder-Warriors tilts.

But the icy relationship seemed to thaw at February's NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Durant and Westbrook once again played for the same team, and looked like they were enjoying themselves.

That was a departure from the previous year -- Durant's first with the Warriors -- and the back-to-back Finals MVP took the blame for their beef. 

"I feel like I f---ed that up," Durant said at the time. "I feel like I made it a thing when it a thing when it shouldn't have been."

For his part, Westbrook said the weekend in February was "normal." But, as of this writing, Westbrook still does not follow Durant on the platform. He did, however, post this image on his Instagram Story to show where he stood.

Well, where he stood physically, at least. 

NBA Rumors: Jimmy Butler will miss start of T-Wolves camp after trade demand

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NBA Rumors: Jimmy Butler will miss start of T-Wolves camp after trade demand

Around this time a year ago, Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler spoke to the media about the importance of the young team playing defense. Now, he reportedly won't be there to speak at all.

Days after Butler reportedly demanded a trade away from the Twin Cities, The Athletic reported that Butler will skip Monday's media day and the early part of training camp. 

It's the latest step in the crumbling relationship between Butler and the Timberwolves. The 29-year-old can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and become an unrestricted free agent. He reportedly wants to join the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, or Brooklyn Nets. 

Timberwolves management has reportedly told interested teams they are not interested in trading Butler. Meanwhile, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told his colleagues at the NBA's board of governors meeting that he is open to moving the guard, and that teams should contact Taylor directly, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Butler's absence will help him avoid any awkward questions Monday, but his (soon-to-be-ex?) teammates won't have the same luck. After feuding with retired NBA vet Stephen Jackson on Instagram, Andrew Wiggins surely won't, either.