Warriors’ Steve Kerr Ripped for Key Move on Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry (left) and coach Steve Kerr of the Warriors

Getty Stephen Curry (left) and coach Steve Kerr of the Warriors

There were, no question, some odd decisions from the bench for the Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, especially as Golden State was letting go of the 12-point lead it had entering the fourth quarter. Coach Steve Kerr started that period with Andre Iguodala in the game, plus Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson on the wings, with Otto Porter Jr. and Draymond Green up front.

It was, certainly, a death lineup, as folks in Golden State like to say. But the death involved was that of the Dubs’ big lead. Just 2:25 into the fourth quarter, the Celtics had cut the lead to five points and Kerr then decided to put star Steph Curry back in. The damage had been done, though, as the Celtics kept the momentum going all the way to a 120-108 win.

Asked about the fourth quarter after the game, coach Steve Kerr said, “I thought we had a couple turnovers, a couple bad possessions offensively, and they just pounced. They took advantage of every opportunity and moved the ball. … My gut reaction, what I just witnessed, they came in and played a hell of a fourth quarter, and you have to give them credit. It’s pretty much as simple as that.”

Stephen Curry Played 38 Minutes

But for the budding James Naismiths on Twitter, this loss rested on the shoulders of Kerr himself. Not only did he try the odd lineup to start the fourth quarter, many argued, but he left Andrew Wiggins on the bench far too long, not re-inserting him into the action until 6:34 remained in the fourth.

Curry’s minutes were the chief gripe, but the complaints there were not entirely factual–Kerr did play Curry the fourth-most minutes he’s seen in this postseason, which has now spanned 17 games. Still there was this:

As beat writer Anthony Slater of The Athletic noted, Kerr has addressed the issue of Curry’s playing time earlier in the postseason, when he made clear that putting too many minutes on Curry actually diminishes his overall game.

“Honestly, when the playoffs start, you throw everything else out the window,” Kerr said at the time. “Regular season, you have to manage the 82, but the playoffs, whatever you have to do to win the game, that’s what you do. But in my opinion, in most cases, it wouldn’t help us win if we were to play Steph, you know, 46 minutes. I just think that is a heavy burden and it can affect his own game, his own rhythm.”


Steve Kerr Has the Best Postseason Record in NBA History

Also worth mentioning: Kerr has the best postseason record in NBA history and has guided the Warriors to three NBA championships. Also, it is the first game of the NBA FInals, not Game 7. The problem for the Warriors in the fourth quarter of Game 1 was, in part, the offense, which posted just 16 points. But the bigger part of the problem was a defense that allowed 40 points and could not account for the explosion from Al Horford and Derrick White.

Curry, as anyone who has watched the Warriors can attest, is not a bad defender, but he is not the kind of stopper who could have slowed that level of shooting assault from Boston.

Again, such logic did not stop the Couch Auerbachs of Twitter:


On to Game 2!



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