Kerr’s open door lets in success

VIDEO: Warriors coach Steve Kerr speaks at Saturday’s availability.

OAKLAND, Calif. — By now the world knows that Steve Kerr is not like a lot of rookie coaches. First off, not very many rookie coaches get the chance to play for a championship right out of the box.

Then again, not many rookie coaches are willing to think completely outside the box and take strategy suggestions mid-championship series from a guy whose duties include selecting and spinning the tunes at practice.

But when 28-year-old special assistant to the head coach Nick U’Ren proposed that the Warriors switch to a small lineup for Game 4 of The Finals, it was music to Kerr’s ears. And the notion that they’re all in this together continues to be why this entire season has come together like a symphony for a Golden State franchise seeking to win its first NBA title in 40 years.

With U’Ren’s plan, the Warriors ripped off a 103-82 win on Thursday night in Cleveland and now return to Oracle Arena for Game 5 with a 2-2 tie and home-court advantage back in hand.

“Things are open every day that we have a meeting,” said Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton following Saturday’s practice. “Go back to the Memphis series. (Assistant coach) Ron Adams threw out the idea that we should try putting (Andrew) Bogut on Tony Allen. It wasn’t, ‘Well, Ron said, it we’re doing it.’ It turns into a discussion and Steve really liked the idea.

“We give Steve a lot of credit also to be a rookie coach and to have the balls to do some of these moves this deep into the playoffs. It is impressive. He hangs it out there and our guys respond every time that that type of challenge presents itself. It’s all year long. Anytime anybody has ideas, we bring them to the table. He doesn’t want the credit for it. I mean, he should get it all, because if it doesn’t work he’s gonna get the blame for it.

“Steve would have taken the fall. At 7-0 (Cavs) early in that game, people were probably questioning, ‘What the heck is this guy doing? He’s in over his head.’ And he would never have thrown Nick under the bus.”

The Warriors players have responded through a 67-15 regular season and long playoff run to Kerr’s atmosphere of overall inclusiveness.

“One thing I’ve always been taught is that in order to be a great leader, you have to be a great follower,” said forward Draymond Green. “In order to be a great leader, you have to listen to other people. Most people would probably say, ‘Oh, man! Nick’s not on the coaching staff.’ But yet Coach Kerr always tells us, ‘I listen to anybody — video guy, video intern.’ Those guys watch a ton of film. You know, sometimes they may even watch more film than Coach does. They’re the ones breaking it all down. So it just says a lot about Coach Kerr’s character that he would listen and get it worked out.”


  1. Jacknohara says:

    The simple truth is : Lebron in a very limited and predictable offensive player, he can´t shoot with good consistency , his perimeter game is terrible. His only offensive move is drive left and play bully ball in the paint, going for the basket or kicking out for a shooter. Is very hard to guard him because he´s so strong and fast, but the truth is that the Cav´s can´t win playing offense so bad, with no ball movement and no separation at all.

  2. Lmao says:

    Lebron is shooting poorly like he has all series long but now the big difference is that curry has gotten back to shooting at a high level. Lebrons rebounding may be a little better than Jordan’s but thats about it really i don’t think Michael Jordan ever shot this poorly in the finals.

  3. Pete says:

    The numbers say otherwise – they didn’t play better with the “tweaked” lineup. At least to me at simply seemed the Cavs have finally payed the price of losing two all stars from their starting lineup. It was bound to happen sooner or later and it finally happened.

    Kerr is awesome and GSW is amazing, but in this case they mainly got lucky. Had the Cavs faced them with a healthy Kevin Love and a healthy Kyrie Irving, the Cavs would have crushed them.

    • Jessie says:

      What numbers? The big difference this change resulted in was on defense. With five players who can disrupt the Cavs and more double teaming on Lebron. It helped on the offense too, Bogut was taking too long to get up there and it slowed down that fast GS offense.

      Looking at the numbers is irrelevant. You could easily tell the change worked just by how the game was going. The Cavs did seem tired by the end of the game but that had a lot to do with the faster pace of the game too.

  4. WARRIORS FAN says:

    You gotta give the coaching staff credit for watching all that film and presenting ideas to the table.If there would be no coaching staff,I don’t know how the coach could manage watching ALL that film and without any input,introduce new ideas.He could do that,however coaching staffs make the coach’s job easier,and is like the advisor of the king.However I would personally like to thank Coach Kerr for turning these playoff-bound Warriors into championship material,instead of just gradually/slowly turning this team into a championship team.I’ve been watching these marvelous Warriors since I was little,and never saw any better Warriors team than this one.And I thank for giving our fantastic players confidence that they can play at a high level,such as Klay Thompson,Harrison Barnes,Draymond Green,and probably a few others.I wish you,and your team(WHICH I LOVE!!!) good luck right now,and in the future!

  5. WARRIORS FAN says:

    Kuzmic isn’t important to us.He’s like a player that comes in when your leading by 20,and sometimes he still doesn’t come in,because of the depth and talent on our roster.He would be the starting center of both Bogut and Ezeli would be injured(like that would ever happen),but besides that,he’s meaningless to our team,like Nemanja Nedovic,who we traded away last year,I think.

  6. vasuv59 says:

    Warriors won so convincingly because LJ and Devallodova ran out of gas. It is more because of that than the strategy followed. No disrespect intended to Steve Kerr but this series is lopsided in favour of his team. It is theirs to lose. Cavs have spent their ammo in the first three games and they have nothing more to offer. I would be happy to be proved wrong becasue I want the series to go to 7 games. Unlikely. But if Cavs win then LJ will replace Mj as the greatest basketball player ever.

    • robert says:

      let’s throw the “greatest ever” tag to the trash bin. MJ was probably the greatest during his time and LBJ could be the greatest now. we could only pick the greatest ever if they played at the same time.

  7. jay says:


    coach kerr such a great move to listen and hear suggestion to people around its very important.its a key to find the way of winning.Try find what is opponent weaknesses.

  8. SyedM says:

    Seems to be a great leader and it shows in his team’s superb performance. Go Steve.

  9. sjflippen says:

    Ognjen Kuzmic, well they need to play him

  10. George Manont says:

    Can’t agree more, A good LEADER LISTENs !

    • MackDaddy says:

      I got an idea…. run an even smaller line up! Like all guards! No forwards, no centers.

      – Cavs fan ;).