While the Golden State Warriors were getting blown out by the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night, head coach Steve Kerr was getting thrown out — of the game, that is.
Kerr went berserk as the first half concluded at FedExForum in Memphis. The outburst came after the Grizzlies more than doubled up the Dubs in the second quarter, outscoring Golden State 43-21 in that stanza. Heading into the locker room facing a 26-point deficit, Kerr followed the referees out to mid-court where he began berating one official. Kerr quickly received a technical, then another, which resulted in his ejection. Kerr continued yelling as he approached another official, with multiple Warriors players in pursuit of their head coach in what proved futile attempts to calm him down.
Warriors on NBCS tweeted a 31-second video of the incident Monday night, March 28.
“The frustration boiled over, and they’re not getting the calls,” the game announcer said during the interaction. “Coach Kerr may be trying to send a message to his guys. But just trying to have his guys’ back really, more than send a message.”
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Warriors Reeling as Injuries Continue to Mar Regular Season
The Warriors were shorthanded in their 123-95 defeat at Memphis, as Steph Curry remained out with a sprained foot ligament. Kerr also decided to rest Draymond Green and Klay Thompson Monday night on the second half of a back-to-back set of road games.
The Dubs employed the same strategy during the second half of a back-to-back against the Miami Heat earlier in this current five-game road swing, which mercifully came to an end with the blowout loss to the Grizzlies. While Golden State somehow managed to beat the Heat by double-digits that night, the Warriors were all but conceding defeat Monday by rolling into Memphis without their three best players.
As noted above, Curry is currently sidelined, while Green missed a 30-game stretch mid-season due to a back injury. Thompson was absent for the team’s first 39 outings of the year as he rehabbed from a torn achilles. Andre Iguodala has also struggled with injury this season, returning Monday night after 21 straight games on the sideline.
Iguodala, however, said the Dubs have no excuses for the way they’re playing — injuries or otherwise. Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweeted Iguodala’s comments from Monday’s postgame press conference.
“You have no choice but to get it done. And you know, it’s just a part of the game — injuries are. And we haven’t been able to be full strength,” Iguodala said. “[We haven’t been full strength] not one minute, not even a second [all year]. It’s just a part of the game, and what we can’t do is play the blame game when things don’t turn out the way they should.”
Dubs in Danger of Losing Home Court Advantage in Playoffs
Whatever missed calls irked Kerr in the first half Monday in Memphis, his outburst was clearly not an isolated incident. Rather, it was most likely caused by the cumulative frustration of weeks of poor play, which have seen the Warriors plummet in the Western Conference standings.
Golden State has dropped three games in a row, lost four out of five on their road trip, and have fallen in six of their previous seven games total. The Warriors are just 6-11 since the All-Star Break and have posted an abysmal mark of 7-15 over the last 22 contests.
Things aren’t going to get easier for the Dubs anytime soon, as they face the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns followed by the Utah Jazz in their next two homes games on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. Slater reported that Curry will not be available for either contest.
As it stands now, the Warriors are 1.5 games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, though they lead the Mavs by just one game in the loss column. Dallas is healthier and playing better of late, leading Slater to predict that the Warriors will drop to the No. 4 seed by the time all is said and done — assuming Golden State doesn’t lose home court altogether.
“Warriors are now only one ahead of the Mavericks in the loss column. Dallas has already won the tiebreaker,” Slater tweeted Monday. “They’re playing better currently and have slightly easier remaining schedule. Mavericks probably favorite for #3 seed. Warriors in danger of falling beyond #4.”
The Jazz — the No. 5 seed in the West if the postseason started today — are currently 2.5 games behind the Warriors, while the Denver Nuggets are only three games back.