NBA

Kerr: Warriors offense won't be like the Rockets'

By Sports Desk October 08, 2020

Steve Kerr aimed a dig at the Houston Rockets by insisting the Golden State Warriors will not play like them despite a significant turnover in personnel.

The Warriors went from making the NBA Finals for a fifth straight year in 2019 to finishing the past regular season with the worst record in the league at 15-50.

Golden State were without All-Star backcourt duo Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for almost the entire season – the former played just five games while the latter sat out the campaign to recover from ACL surgery.

Kerr has won three rings as head coach of the Warriors and despite the losses of Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant – key members of the dynasty they established – the switch to a system like that used by the Rockets, who have focused their offense on isolation plays for James Harden, does not appeal.

"We're not reinventing the wheel. We're still gonna be the Warriors," Kerr said on the TK Show.

"We're not going to all of a sudden turn into the Rockets — change our offense — and have one guy go high pick-and-roll 70 times a game.

"We've got to be ourselves. What makes Steph and Klay the players they are is the combination of what they can on and off the ball. That's what moves defenses.

"And what makes Draymond [Green] special is his ability to distribute from either the four or the five spot — to have playmaking at that level. As you watch [the] Miami [Heat] right now [in the NBA Finals], you can see the influence that our team has had on the league.

"It's really difficult for defenses to guard when there's a lot of action going on. So we're not gonna change that stuff."

Harden averaged a league-high 14.1 isolation possessions per game during the 2019-20 regular season, almost twice as many as Rockets team-mate Russell Westbrook who was second on the list at 7.4.

Outside of Houston, Damian Lillard had the most isolation possessions per game at 4.8 – almost a third of Harden's.

Related items

  • Madrid's Jovic absolutely world class, says Eintracht boss Hutter Madrid's Jovic absolutely world class, says Eintracht boss Hutter

    Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Adi Hutter hailed the "greatness" of Luka Jovic following his stunning start to life back in the Bundesliga.

    Jovic scored two goals in his return for Eintracht last week after re-joining the German club on loan until the end of the season, having endured a difficult period at LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

    The Serbia international only scored twice in 32 appearances under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital, where he arrived for €60million in 2019.

    But Jovic came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes as Eintracht defeated Schalke 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

    Jovic matched his Madrid tally in the stunning cameo for Eintracht, where the 23-year-old netted 27 goals in 2018-19 before making the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Previewing Wednesday's showdown with Freiburg, Hutter discussed Jovic and his partnership with Eintracht star Andre Silva.

    "Strikers are always a bit egotistical, but when it is about the team or Eintracht Frankfurt, everyone puts their ego aside," Hutter told reporters.

    "Luka [Jovic] does that sovereignly. When you bring back someone who had his best time here and scored 27 goals in a year, then gets loaned out and scores two goals in 32 games, and then comes back and scores two goals in about 25 minutes, it's logical that the attention is more on that than on Andre Silva's 12th goal of the season.

    "But when you hear Luka's statements that it is an honour for him to play in a team with Andre, it shows the greatness and character of Luka and it shows the respect he has for Andre Silva. I have spoken to Andre before and he said that competition is very important for him and that quality in the team is important. That doesn't bother him at all.

    "I also can't imagine that Andre Silva, who has previously played for Milan and Sevilla, can't handle competition. I think he has also seen that Luka is another striker with whom he can harmonise.

    "As always, I'm keeping a low profile. He [Luka Jovic] has shown in this short season that he is an absolute world-class striker with a high calibre. We'll leave it open as to whether he'll play from the start [against Freiburg]."

    Silva's goal to open the scoring against Schalke was his 12th of the season, taking him level with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland – only Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (21) has more in 2020-21.

    Eintracht – eighth in the standings – are the only team to win all three of their Bundesliga games in 2021 and have now won four on the bounce in the league for the first time since early 2019.

  • Sixers coach Rivers 'expects' to have Embiid back for Celtics clash Sixers coach Rivers 'expects' to have Embiid back for Celtics clash

    Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said he "expects" All-Star Joel Embiid to return for Wednesday's showdown with rivals the Boston Celtics.

    Embiid sat out Saturday's 106-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies due to right knee soreness, and the three-time NBA All-Star would have been absent again if Sunday's clash against the Oklahoma City Thunder was not postponed.

    But Embiid took part in practice on Tuesday and Rivers is bracing for the 76ers center to make a comeback as two of the Eastern Conference's best teams meet midweek.

    "I do expect him to go," Rivers said. "He was in and out of practice today, we didn't let him do a lot of stuff, but he looked pretty good."

    Embiid – an early MVP candidate – is averaging 25.0 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game for the 76ers (9-5) this season.

    The 26-year-old has relied on his jump shot even more this season but has instead taken most of them inside the arc.

    Embiid – whose 76ers are 9-2 when he plays and 0-3 without him this term – has seen his jump shot field-goal percentage rise 8.2 per cent to 45.6 per cent in 2020-21.

    The 76ers have been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, with Philadelphia left shorthanded since Seth Curry's positive COVID-19 test on January 7.

    Philadelphia and Oklahoma City were scheduled to meet at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday, but the 76ers did not have the required eight players available because of contact tracing with the team.

    But the 76ers – minus Curry – were back to full strength for Tuesday's practice, much to the delight of Rivers.

    "It was nice," said Rivers. "We're not one of those teams that have the luxury of being together for several years. We have so many new bodies, a new system, new coach, everything.

    "To have all those games and no practice and then to have all those guys out, and even your shoot arounds are not what you expect them to be, it absolutely has affected us."

    Rivers added: "Even on a couple of days we have a somewhat of a practice, we didn't have enough guys to practice. Today was a day we had enough guys, we can change, we can sub in practice and put different units on the floor."

  • Lampard insists he can handle pressure after lacklustre Chelsea display Lampard insists he can handle pressure after lacklustre Chelsea display

    Frank Lampard is adamant he can handle the pressure that has come with Chelsea's slump in form, which continued with a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City on Tuesday.

    Goals from Wilfred Ndidi and James Maddison sent Leicester top of the Premier League, nine points clear of a Chelsea side that has now won just two of their last eight league games.

    Lampard's team are five points adrift of the top four, with their 29 points the fewest Chelsea have had at the midway point of the season since 2015-16, when Leicester won the league and the Blues finished 10th.

    Asked about his future at a post-match media conference, head coach Lampard said: "I can't control it. I've been asked before, I understand it, it's the expectations of this club.

    "It's a developing team but I can't get caught up in the reaction. I took this job knowing we would have difficult times.

    "We just have to fight. Where everything was rosy in mid-December, it isn't so rosy now. I am good at handling pressure."

    Chelsea have taken seven points from a possible 24 since going top of the Premier League in December with a win over Leeds United.

    On his side's form, Lampard told BBC Sport: "We were in a really good place in December, second in the league and two points from the top. Maybe complacency set it. There's only one way out of it which is hard work. Today Leicester were in better form than us.

    "It is clearly concerning. It is a period we are not happy with, other clubs have been in that period. All we can think about is getting through the period, working hard. The important thing is the players bounce back. This is the cut-throat nature of what it is.

    "The players have to keep their heads up but also keep their eyes open and review the game and see there was an energy in the Leicester team we didn't have.

    "You cannot be sluggish and slow because it won't work against a team like Leicester that are firing."

    Leicester are top after 19 games or more for the first time since they lifted the trophy in 2016, but Brendan Rodgers' focus is not on their status as potential title challengers.

    "It is still too early. But it shows in the first part of the season consistency has been good and performance levels have been very high," Rodgers said to BBC Sport.

    "This gives the belief to the players. It keeps the momentum going and keeps the concentration. In order to stay there at the top you need desire and hunger and I feel we have seen that from the team."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.