Steve Kerr explains why Warriors can't turn Steph Curry into James Harden


Steve Kerr explains why Warriors can't turn Steph Curry into James Harden

If you've been pounding the table for the Warriors to run considerably more ball screens for Steph Curry, well, keep pounding.

It doesn't sound like you'll get your wish anytime soon -- or at least not to the extent that you'd like.

Coach Steve Kerr made that clear Monday ahead of the Warriors' game against the Pelicans, in which he laid out the reasons as to why Golden State can't construct the same sort of offense that, say, Houston uses with James Harden.

"I don't know that it's that simple," Kerr said at his pregame media availability in New Orleans. "We could turn [Curry] into James Harden and give him the ball every play, but that's really hard to do. You have to build a team for that. Houston has put five shooters on the floor for years now with Harden to give him that space. We don't have that kind of personnel. There's not the same spacing.

"That kind of basketball wears you out, too, especially for a guy who is 180 pounds like Steph is. So, I don't think the answer is just run a million high screens. We don't really have the personnel for that."

All right, a couple good points there. As if the Warriors' first two games didn't make it overwhelmingly obvious, they don't exactly possess the depth of talent that the Rockets do. And nobody would ever confuse Curry's body type for Harden's. They're simply built differently. But that doesn't mean the Warriors shouldn't find ways to put Curry into more advantageous positions more often.

"I don't think it makes a ton of sense from Steph's standpoint," Kerr continued. "What we have to figure out is how can we free him up better. Those are the things we are exploring every day. How can we free him up without having the floor-spacing bigs that are popular around the league. So, trying to create space, trying to create penetration, trying to create clean looks and an offensive rhythm within all that.

"That's the challenge. That's what we're working on."

[RELATED: Warriors have been plagued by defensive laziness thus far]

Clearly, the Warriors haven't started their season how they'd hoped, and they're still figuring out things on offense (and defense, for that matter). Don't expect Golden State to turn into the West Coast Rockets, but also don't be surprised if you start seeing an alteration in the way Curry is being used.

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell is rapidly approaching a date some NBA observers have circled since the Warriors acquired him this summer.

Golden State can trade Russell as soon as Sunday, Dec. 15, and the 23-year-old has been the source of trade speculation during his time in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday, citing sources that the Minnesota Timberwolves "remain interested in Russell" and that the guard "seems to be realistic in understanding that he may not be long for the Warriors once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return to full health."

Russell is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game this season to go with 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, serving as the top offensive option in the absence of his All-Star teammates. He knew he wouldn't play much with Thompson this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but Curry's broken hand threw a wrench into the Warriors' -- and thus Russell's -- prospects this season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised how Russell has handled the rumors surrounding him. 

"Money doesn't buy peace of mind," Kerr said Friday morning (H/T San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). "It doesn't buy a sense of belonging, a sense of, 'Alright, this is my team.' If there's speculation that you're going to be traded all the time, I don't care how much money you make, I don't care who you are. That's tough. That's no fun to deal with, and this season has been nowhere close to what D'Angelo thought it would be when he first signed with us.

"There's no Steph. We're struggling to win games. He's had his own injuries, and we're throwing all kinds of different lineups out there based on the other injuries we've faced." 

Russell has played in just 15 of the Warriors' 27 games this season, playing on a team that looks far more like the Los Angeles Lakers of his first two seasons than the playoff-contending Brooklyn Nets a year ago -- let alone the reigning Western Conference champion Warriors. 

[RELATED: How Warriors' Chriss earning chance to start at center]

Kerr, who entered this season with the highest winning percentage in NBA history (.785), is as aware of Golden State's dramatically different reality as anyone. He said it has only brought out the best in Russell. 

"So given all that, he's played really well, and he's been a great teammate and he's doing everything he needs to do to solidify his position here," Kerr continued. "But this is the NBA here, and we never know what's coming, what's happening. So, it's a difficult position to be in in general, but for him in particular it's strange set of circumstances and he's handling it really well." 

Whether or not the Warriors trade Russell, it's clear Kerr holds him in high regard.

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Warriors two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. 

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

[RELATEDWhy Dubs might be very active before, after trade deadline]

Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display.

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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