Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers don't dodge the obvious in Warriors vs. Clippers


Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers don't dodge the obvious in Warriors vs. Clippers

OAKLAND – When Steve Kerr and Doc Rivers settled in for their first coaching showdown in the postseason, each coach told the truth without being under oath.

Kerr’s Warriors are heavy favorites to clobber Rivers’ Clippers in this first-round series and neither tried to distort the obvious.

Kerr acknowledged the Warriors are expected to win any series they’re in, certainly including this one, and Rivers practically conceded the Clippers probably expected to be on vacation.

“I’ve had teams where you assume playoffs,” Rivers said 90 minutes before Game 1. “This is a different team. One of our goals was just to get here.

“But we were really excited when we made it. But we’re not done. We don’t want that to be it. We want to do more. And to do that, we play one of the great teams.”

The Warriors are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, winning 15 of 16 Game 1s under Kerr.

“I’m guessing we have been favored in all 16, so we are kind of supposed to (win)?” Kerr said.

“We started on the road last year against Houston. We’re supposed to win where we’ve been, at home usually. It sets a good tone. But the beauty of the NBA Playoffs is it’s a seven-game series.”

The Warriors were 3-1 against LA in the regular season, losing only the first meeting, on Nov. 12 at Staples Center. The Clippers, however, have undergone dramatic change since then, losing two starters, Tobias Harris – their best player – and Marcin Gortat, as well as reserves Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.

Newcomers Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet and Ivaca Zubac and JaMychal Green have been better than expected. LA was 30-25 prior to those trade deadline moves, 18-9 afterward.

“The trade absolutely helped our team,” Rivers said. “When we did the trade, it didn’t look good, obviously. But when we got in the gym and started playing, slowly, you realize we may be a better team.”

[RELATED: Four ways Warriors can sweep series]

Shamet, a terrific offensive win, has given the Clippers a scorer a great catch and shoot scorer. Zubac has provided paint presence. Green is athletic and Chandler has a solid veteran.

Is that enough to make this a series? Probably not. And both coaches are willing to admit that.

NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins will become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, and he just might be bound for the Big Apple when it's all said and done.

Marc Stein of The New York Times has the information:

So, the Knicks wouldn't consider the same offer for Cousins if Kevin Durant does sign with them?

If you were hoping Cousins returning to the Warriors was a serious possibility, you shouldn't hold your breath. They only can offer Boogie a maximum of $6.4 million next season.

"I would say that the hope is that frankly he [Cousins] can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters on June 14. "But who knows? Every year is different.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It's just a question of what are his goals, what is out there for him."

Well, it's safe to assume that "considerable" means way more than $6.4 million, which would be very hard for Cousins to pass up.

[RELATEDBoogie thanks Dubs fans, sends message about next season]

Will any other teams pony up big money for the soon-to-be 29-year-old? Will someone offer a multiyear contract?

Boogie has been through a lot in the last 18 months, and hopefully he gets what he's seeking.

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Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

It's way too early to know what sort of expectations the Warriors will bring into next season.

Kevin Durant is a free agent, and it's anybody's guess what the two-time Finals MVP will decide. Even if he does re-sign with the Dubs, he'll probably miss the entire season as he recovers from his ruptured right Achilles.

Klay Thompson also is a free agent. And even though it's widely expected that he will return to the only franchise he's played for, the five-time All-Star will be sidelined for much (if not all) of the 2019-20 campaign as he makes the journey back from his left ACL tear.

Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala both are entering the final year of their contracts.

DeMarcus Cousins most likely is gone. Shaun Livingston might retire, or he could be waived or traded. Kevon Looney is an unrestricted free agent, and it's far from certain that he'll be back for a fifth season.

Jonas Jerebko is a free agent, Andrew Bogut is headed back to Australia, and the Warriors haven't yet extended qualifying offers to Jordan Bell or Quinn Cook.

The Warriors selected three players in last week's NBA draft, and it's unclear if any of them will be mainstays in the rotation.

There's a lot of uncertainty right now.

"We'll see what our roster ends up looking like," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Wednesday. "Everything's on the table for us going into next year -- from starting jobs, to style of play -- we got a lot to sort through. And from that perspective, I think it's exciting.

"I think our fans ... obviously we want to compete for a championship every year, and our fans probably expect that, and we've had that the last five years. But I think next year, there will be a lot of interest from our fans in watching our young players grow, and watching a team form and watching a style form. And we'll see how all that comes together.

"But I know I'm excited and our staff is excited for what's coming."

Kerr essentially is telling Warriors fans ...

... to make other plans in early June because a sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals looks very unlikely.

[RELATED: Kerr provides update on assistant coach Adams' job status]

There already are plenty of people in the basketball world who believe the Dubs will be fighting just to make the playoffs.

Again, it's way too early to make any sort of predictions. But Year 1 in Chase Center is going to be ...

... different in many ways.

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