Steve Kerr explains how Jordan Bell's recent play bodes well for future


Steve Kerr explains how Jordan Bell's recent play bodes well for future

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The 2018-19 regular season did not go as planned for Warriors forward Jordan Bell.

Excluding the last two games, he played in 66 games and averaged 3.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.8 blocks in 11.3 minutes per night. 

In the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Los Angeles Clippers and in the first five games of Golden State's second-round series against the Houston Rockets, Bell was basically completely out of the rotation.

But when Kevin Durant went down with a right calf strain, everything changed. Over the Warriors' last five games, Bell is averaging 6.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.6 steals in 13.0 minutes.

"I think he's playing at a really high level now, giving us exactly what we need -- speed, energy, athleticism, intelligent play offensively, drive and kick, move the ball -- he's been fantastic," head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after practice on Saturday. "And I'm really happy for him because it was a tough regular season for him.

"He's finishing the season well and I think this bodes well for his future."

Speaking of his future, Bell will be a restricted free agent in July. The Warriors will be able to match any offer he might receive, but it's unclear at this point what Bell's market will be considering his inconsistent regular season.

The Oregon product has shown flashes of the kind of player he could become and he still possesses great potential. But will he get that opportunity with Golden State?

As Marcus Thompson of The Athletic wrote last week, Bell would like to call Chase Center home next season.

He wants to remain with the Warriors. He wants to re-sign this offseason and continue growing with this franchise, continue learning from these Hall of Famers. Bell said he doesn’t want to go to a lesser team so he can get more minutes. He knows what he has right here.

For now, the NBA Finals is all that matters. In fact, how Bell performs against the Toronto Raptors could have a big impact on what happens for him in free agency.

So that means he's going to be in the rotation for sure?

[RELATEDHow Warriors' center depth can be strength vs. Raptors]

"He's gonna play," Kerr said. "We'll see how it all shakes out. It depends on matchups and health and the rest. But even if everybody's healthy, Jordan will find his way onto the court.

"He's earned that. He's played his way into that. He's helped us win game. And I'm confident putting him out there."

When you look at what Bell has done of late, Kerr should be confident:

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Watch Warriors' Klay Thompson use dog Rocco for curls during workout

Watch Warriors' Klay Thompson use dog Rocco for curls during workout

Normally, Rocco just watches Klay Thompson when he's working out. But on Tuesday, the pooch got in on the action.

In a video posted by the Warriors shooting guard, he did 12 curls where he use Rocco as the weight.

In early July, Thompson posted a video of Rocco providing moral support while he rehabbed his surgically repaired left ACL.

During the early days of Thompson's rehab, Rocco would be by his side as he went through rigorous exercises with a trainer.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Thompson missed the entire 2019-20 NBA season after tearing his left ACL against the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. He reportedly was medically cleared to start training without restrictions in June.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Monday that Thompson and Steph Curry worked out together at some point over the last few months.

[RELATED: Trainer says Steph "bouncy and energetic"]

I think we can safely assume Rocco also was there for the Splash Brothers' workout.

Andre Iguodala discusses different approaches between Warriors, Heat

Andre Iguodala discusses different approaches between Warriors, Heat

In terms of proximity, the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat are not close to each other.

And when it comes to certain components of how each franchise operates on a day-to-day basis, they are far apart as well.

“They take two different approaches," former Golden State forward Andre Iguodala recently told Mark Medina of USA Today Sports. "But they’re trying to get to the same place. Neither approach is wrong."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra come from different backgrounds, and don't share the same philosophies. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever, as there is more than one way to build a culture that leads to success.

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP didn't shed too much light on how Golden State and Miami differ, but Medina provided some additional context.

"Iguodala has adapted to a completely different style than what he became accustomed to at Golden State," he writes. "He admittedly could pace himself during the season, while (Steph) Curry, (Kevin) Durant, (Klay) Thompson and (Draymond) Green handled most of the workload.

"The Warriors also had light practices because of their extensive trips to the Finals. In Miami, Iguodala has become exposed to harder practices and prolonged film sessions in hopes to accelerate the Heat’s development."

All of this makes perfect sense.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

But what does confuse some people at times is how to quantify Iguodala's impact, because he didn't consistently register big box-score numbers in a Dubs uniform and doesn't do that for the Heat either.

“You can’t put an analytic to his game with how many different ways he can impact your team in regards to winning,” Spoelstra told Medina. “You have to have him in your locker room and see him out on the floor to truly understand.

"Every coach in this league recognizes he is a winner because he does so many winning things.”

[RELATED: Why Bill Simmons believes Iguodala belongs in Hall of Fame]

These comments probably sound very familiar to Warriors fans, as we used this space over the years to highlight Iguodala's immense importance to the Warriors.

Yours truly can't wait to watch how the 36-year-old helps the Heat in the playoffs.

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