Warriors

Steve Kerr: Warriors would not have a single championship without 'ultimate antagonist' Draymond

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AP

Steve Kerr: Warriors would not have a single championship without 'ultimate antagonist' Draymond

Chris Webber said that Draymond Green may not start for every team if he was expected to score.

Charles Barkley said that he wanted to punch Draymond in the face.

Rajon Rondo had his issues with Draymond at the half of Game 2.

Why does it seem like everybody is taking shots at the reigning Defensive Player of the Year?

"Let's be honest -- if Draymond were on a different team, nobody at Oracle would like him," Steve Kerr said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday. "Nobody on our team would like him. He's the ultimate irritant. He's the ultimate antagonist.

"And when he's on your team -- oh man do you love him. He competes so hard and he generates so much energy and competitive desire. He brings this edge to the game. We would not have a single championship without Draymond. I know that. He's such a huge factor for us in every series because of his versatility.

"But he's just one of those guys who no matter what happens, there's gonna be a lot of stuff going on. And I love it -- we need that."

When Steve Kerr was named Coach of the Year in April 2016, he said this at his press conference:

"Draymond -- don't ever change. Keep yelling at me, I'm gonna keep yelling at you. It's the best. He provides the edge that this team needs. Without Draymond, we'd be in trouble. We would be too quiet, and too nice.

"We need that edge. And when he brings it every day, and we have all that emotion, and that fire, it literally ignites the team."

Through seven playoff games, Draymond is averaging 13.3 points, 11.4 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks.

During the regular season, Draymond averaged 11.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Jordan Poole is in a shooting slump.

Over the first five games of the season, the Warriors rookie shot 38 percent (11-for-29) from beyond the arc.

But over his last nine appearances, Poole is at a dismal 18 percent (9-for-50) from deep, and just below 24 percent overall.

"Jordan is a young guy, he should be a junior in college and he should be coming into a situation where he's getting shots of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson; or playing behind those guys, learning from them every day in practice," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after practice Tuesday. "Maybe making an occasional visit to Santa Cruz to get a lot of playing time.

"That's how ideally you want to raise a young guy, but we don't have that luxury. So we're throwing him right into the fire. He's working his tail off. He's doing a great job.

"This league is unforgiving for a young player. He's just gotta keep doing what he's doing. Keep watching film and keep learning from his experience. He's gonna get better.

"We have great faith in that because of his ability and his character. He'll get there but it's a difficult time for him for sure."

(Quick tangent -- Santa Cruz could have used Poole on Sunday as the Sea Dubs lost to the Salt Lake City Stars, 102-77).

The 20-year-old went 1-for-8 overall (0-for-5 on 3s) last Friday against the Celtics.

He was 0-for-7 from the field (0-for-3 on 3s) Sunday night in New Orleans, and when it rains it pours:

What's strange is that the Michigan product is getting good looks:

But it hasn't been all bad for Poole.

"The one thing I'm really pleased with -- I think his defense has been much better," Kerr said. "He's starting to understand the NBA game and the schemes and the coverages. The things you have to do as a guard -- he's picking up on all those things.

"His defense is way better now than it was a month ago. That's a great sign and he's gotta stay with it."

Kerr is correct, and here are two examples from the Warriors' loss in Oklahoma City on Nov. 9 to prove it:

Additionally, Poole is averaging 2.4 assists over the last nine games.

[RELATEDWhy Draymond says Paschall doesn't even know NBA game yet]

But understandably so, the focus is on his shooting struggles.

"He's pressing. I know exactly how he feels," Kerr added. "I was in a similar circumstance as a younger player -- not getting this amount of playing time -- but my first year in the league feeling like, 'Man, this is totally different from college.'

"This is all brand new for Jordan and we're trying to help him through it."

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Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Besides all of the injuries, Eric Paschall has been the story of the Warriors' season so far.

The rookie is averaging 16.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52 percent overall.

The No. 41 overall pick racked up 30 points and seven rebounds Sunday night in New Orleans, on a very efficient 10-for-17 from the field.

Not bad for a guy who doesn't have a clue what he's doing when he takes the floor (sarcasm font).

"Sometimes he can get a little lost out there, not knowing where to go," Draymond Green told reporters after Golden State's 108-100 loss. "Just trying to help him find his spacing.

"Right now, he’s just scoring off raw talent. He really don’t know how to play the NBA game. As he figures out more and more the NBA game, how to get fouled, he’ll get better and better.”

Paschall certainly got fouled against the Pelicans, as he shot a career-high 10 free throws (he made eight to put him at just over 84 percent on the year).

The three-time All-Star clearly is trying to motivate the 23-year-old and wants him to stay hungry.

Draymond assisted Paschall on three buckets Sunday, and you better believe that he is going to do everything he can to help the rookie continue to grow:

Furthermore, you got to love this aggression:

Paschall probably doesn't have much of a chance to win Rookie of the Year, but at this rate he absolutely will make one of the two All-Rookie teams (quite possibly First Team).

[RELATEDHow Draymond is leading Dubs through ‘frustrating’ season]

The opportunities will keep coming.

“Where we are right now, without D’Lo (D'Angelo Russell), we have to continue to find ways to get Eric the ball in different situations,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because he’s our best scorer.”

We all saw that coming before the season started, right?

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