Warriors

Why Paul Pierce disagrees with Kevin Durant's critique of Warriors' offense

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Why Paul Pierce disagrees with Kevin Durant's critique of Warriors' offense

Kevin Durant was very successful in Steve Kerr's offensive system.

Wanting a change from the isolation-centric game he played in Oklahoma City, Durant signed with the Warriors in the summer of 2016 and thrived in Kerr's ball-movement offense, helping lead the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals appearances and two titles.

After three years in the Bay, Durant chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in the offseason and recently discussed his time with the Warriors, decision to leave and friendship with new teammate Kyrie Irving with the Wall Street Journal. 

Durant also offered a critique of the offense Kerr runs, believing that eventually reached its ceiling in the system and he had to "dive into his bag" to create points during the later rounds of the playoffs after teams figured out the Dubs' attack. 

Is the two-time NBA Finals MVP's critique of Kerr's offense legit? Former Boston Celtics star and current ESPN analyst Paul Pierce isn't buying what KD is selling.

"This is part of what I'm talking about," Pierce said Wednesday on "The Jump." "You played for the No. 1 offense on the planet, you guys are winning championships, but then there's a complaint. Like, of course, the defense is going to get tougher the later rounds you get, but at some point -- yeah, you intermix a lot of 1-on-1 with the system. The system worked! It wasn't broken, and the reason they lost this year was because of the injuries. This is the type of stuff I'm talking about with KD. I don't get what he's searching for. Like it worked what you were doing." 

Nail meet head.

[RELATED: Draymond knows 'no one' wants to play Dubs in playoffs]

Durant will be out for most of, if not all of this upcoming season as he rehabs his ruptured Achilles. Will the Nets feature the offense KD is searching for when he returns?

While he and Irving should form a deadly combo, it's hard to see the Nets' offense being more effective than Kerr's system.

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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