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Kerr: “We’re not good enough right now” to talk about a Finals rematch vs Celtics
[+notes/quotes/video from Warriors-Wizards & practice]
Notes, quotes and video leading up to the Golden State Warriors at the Boston Celtics, in reverse chronological order dating back to pregame at the Washington Wizards:
• Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown (groin) will make his return tonight against the Golden State Warriors on TNT, per league sources. (Chris Haynes)
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• Steve Kerr (late to pregame presser, as he was stuck in traffic): “They're a massive team.” (CJ Holmes, Dalton Johnson)
• On Kuminga and JaMychal Green: “good chance” and “hopeful” they will play Friday in Cleveland. But won’t make that determination until tomorrow. (CJ Holmes, Madeline Kenney, Kendra Andrews)
• Jordan Poole after practice on returning to Boston: “We just gotta get one on the road, try to keep up with the energy that they have…it’ll be electric in there…I don’t really got no reason to care to go back, we did what we needed to do the first time, but it’s always a blessing to play on TV. Historic venue, really good team, just excited.” (me)
• On if he thinks back to the Finals in Boston: “when the new season starts I’m kinda focused on everything else that’s upcoming…next practice…training camp…next game…it’s good to reminisce but you gotta be where your feet are, focus on this season.” (me)
• On what he remembers from the Finals in Boston: “The 20-0 run we went on, I think it was Game 6…at the highest magnitude…ultimately helped us win the entire thing.” (me)
• On what he remembers specifically from Game 6: “I don’t even think I knew it was a 21-0 run until after the game…so engaged and focused and locked in…kinda just lost ourselves in the game…just tried to close it out.” (me)
• Kevon Looney after practice on returning to Boston: “It’s always fun…crowd’s always rowdy.” (me)
• On the 22-22 start being the same as the Celtics’ last year: “I haven’t really thought about it…what they had to go through last year…find their identity…kinda the same goal…a few games from being a high seed, a few games from not being in the mix…up and down all year…but we got a good road win last game.” (me)
• Steve Kerr after practice on radio shows, on the White House visit: “It was a wonderful day. It’s a great reminder of our accomplishment but also a reminder of the opportunity we have in this country to do what we wanna do.” (95.7 The Game)
• On Steph Curry's White House speeches: “He’s just made to be the face of the franchise. He’s so perfect for the job. He’s so impressive.” (95.7 The Game)
• Steve Kerr said his brother used to work at the White House and give him and the Bulls tours in the 90s: “He’d meet us at the front gate, we’d show our ID and walk right into the White House.” (95.7 The Game)
• On E-40: “I talked to a couple people who knew him when he was a teenager. I heard he had a nice game.” (95.7 The Game)
• On tomorrow's game vs. Celtics: “Playing in Boston is one of my favorite games of the year. It’s definitely extra special it’s a Finals rematch.” (95.7 The Game)
• On Jonathan Kuminga and JaMychal Green’s injuries: “there's a chance" they could play Friday in Cleveland. (95.7 The Game)
• On Klay not playing b2b’s: “Given that Klay missed a game last week with knee discomfort, we're going to be careful. But, we do think there's going to come a time this season when Klay can play back-to-back games.” (95.7 The Game)
• On defending in the NBA: “We have to get back as a league to allowing the defense to make a play. There are too many advantages given to the offensive player.” (KNBR)
• On load management: “If it were up to me I'd cut 10 games out and have a 72-game season...I don't think you'd see the resting going on. If you allowed more rest time in between games you'd see players playing a lot more...By definition each game would be worth more.” (KNBR)
• Celtics Injury Report vs. Golden State tomorrow night: Jaylen Brown - Right Adductor Tightness - QUESTIONABLE, Danilo Gallinari - Left Knee ACL Repair - OUT. (Keith Smith)
• Steve Kerr after practice on the passing of Celtics great Chris Ford, who also hit the first three-pointer in NBA history. (me)
• Klay Thompson will be active tomorrow against the Celtics but Andre Iguodala will not, Steve Kerr says at Warriors practice: “Unsure about anybody else…I’ll talk to the training staff.” Jonathan Kuminga and JaMychal Green scrimmaged today, but are unlikely to play: “They have to check in with the training staff…I would say doubtful for tomorrow.” James Wiseman didn’t scrimmage. Kuminga and Green could possibly play Friday. (Kendra Andrews, me)
• On returning to Boston; “It’s a great challenge.” (me)
• On his favorite aspects of the Finals in Boston: “The best memory is always the final buzzer…but there are a lot of great moments…the biggest one was Steph’s Game 4,” Gary Payton II’s return changing the tenor of the series, Jordan Poole’s key contribution (“huge Game 5”) and Andrew Wiggins’ two-way play (“his rebounding, his defense, and that’s the beauty of winning, you think about guys’ contributions to the cause and the celebrations.” (Anthony Slater, me)
• On the current team status: “We’re not good enough right now to look at this as a potential meeting down the road…we’ve got to get better…improve in a lot of areas…the next night against Cleveland, that’s two great challenges for our team…get ourselves back in that position where we’re one of the elite teams in the league.” (me)
• On exchange with Raymond Ridder, who said the Celtics were 22-22 and made the Finals last year, then addressed reporters: “You guys got that?” After Anthony Slater mentions the Celtics in the Finals: “I did not say that.” Then a pop quiz on the starters for the Washington Bullets 1978 championship team ensues.
• James Wiseman was on the court post practice in DC getting in some light work with Rick Celebrini, testing that sprained ankle. Andre Iguodala was going through a shooting routine. He’s out vs Celtics. (Anthony Slater)
• Ty Jerome postgame locker room with long-time NBA writer for the Washington Post, Candace Buckner: “He got MVP chants on the road today…You got to understand what’s going on. He’s one of the greatest players ever. The greatest shooter ever, and he’s doing it in a way that nobody has ever seen before. Nobody has ever seen someone shoot over 10 threes a game and sustain that level of efficiency and that level of difficulty on his shots, the flair that he has off the bounce. So he’s not only one of the greatest players ever, but he’s also doing it in a way that nobody has ever seen before, and everybody wants to come watch him play. It’s just pretty cool to be a part of. It’s pretty cool to see it off the court. He’s as big of a star as it gets — best player in the world…He’s probably bigger than (Tom) Brady…Both of them have had such great playoff success. It’s probably closer than what I made it seem. But I’m going to go with my teammate.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2023/01/17/stephen-curry-warriors-fans/
• Draymond Green postgame on the urgency: “That late surge was great…pretty good job and it just wasn’t falling our way. They hit crazy shots…good to see everybody stick with it.”
• On the fan heckling him: “He was just talking from the start of the game until I shut him up…I appreciate it though because I had nothing…and then shout out to them, there was two of them, they got me going.”
• On plays that got him going: “Always like to find my rhythm on the defensive end or passing the basketball…a few key stops…second quarter kinda got me going a little bit…Porzingis had it going…kinda screw up their offense a little bit.”
• On his 11 points in Q4: “they were all worried about Steph…that’s the weight that Steph holds. He’s gonna draw a lot of attention…once they started blitzing…help side wasn’t great.”
• On the momentum-shifting plays such as the challenge that got overturned: “It’s funny because when I was going to the bench AV (Anthony Vereen), one of the assistants behind the bench, he was yelling, ‘Draymond, it’s a momentum one! We challenging it!’ And we challenged the play and won it. Lamb did a great job of stepping in and taking the charge, although he helped off strong-side corner. So great job taking the charge, but don’t help like that again. But just guys making plays down the stretch. Jordan as making plays, making shots. Steph was making plays, making shots. Coming down the stretch those are the guys that are gonna have the ball in their hands and they made plays.”
• On developing his off-ball movement when he was a younger player: “Study the game…understand their patterns…I always preach to the younger guys, be a fan of basketball…in our game today, you got some many guys who don’t watch basketball. I never understand that. How are you gonna be an analyst and never watch the stock market? Like, that’s crazy…if you’re passionate about watching it, you’ll be passionate about learning.”
• On if this game felt bigger than one regular season game: “on the back-to-back, short-handed, I feel good about that, what we had to do to pull this game out. And then everyone on our team heard the guy on the sideline talking. And everyone including our coaches were like, ‘Draymond, shut him up.’ …everybody fed off that. Like I said, shout out to that guy.”
• On anything specific from the heckler: “Yeah, he came up to me and was like, ‘You think you’re a Hall-of-Famer? I better not ever hear you say that again.’ ‘I’m like that, bro. Been like that. Don’t do that. Sometimes you gotta — what do they say? — let a sleeping dog lie, something like that? (Shakes head) He should’ve just let me stay where I was… I appreciate him.”
• On not having the best defensive performance: “I didn’t think our defense was great. We gave up 118 points. I thought there were some things we could’ve done better, but it happens during the course of a game and we were able to get stops and that’s what’s most important. But there are some things that we need to clean up, some switches that we need to clean up. That second quarter, I think they got eight free throws just being in the bonus and fouling away from the ball. It wasn’t like they were like drives and you foul. It was like, box, switch, foul. It’s a rebound. Foul. We can clean those things up. You take those eight free throws away, you go into halftime with a ten-point lead, it’s a totally different game.”
• Steph Curry on getting through the rust: “Every game get stronger…gritty, dig deep kind of night…eight guys really available to go out there so big win for us.”
• On Chinese fans and any plans to visit China: “idk if there’s plan yet but I’ve enjoyed my tours over there…we appreciate that…hopefully we can get back there but idk when.”
• On the fan taunting Draymond: “we always love to engage Draymond no matter who puts the gas in the tank…I remember Andre made a game-winner in Atlanta…first guy he pointed at was somebody behind the bench…something that got Draymond going. Everytime he hit a shot he knew who he was looking at…fans wanna interact, if you will, and bring some humor…as long as it didn’t cross the line…that guy, he left early…you gotta take the smoke the whole game…before the clock was zero. That’s a cardinal rule…I’m sure he would’ve stayed if he lost. Sorry.”
• On playing a lot of minutes again, shaking off rust: “I got through that…4th quarter of the Phoenix game…feeling like I had the ball on a string…had to be aggressive…with Klay out…JP did a lot of that in the first half as well…even Draymond on offense.”
• On the White House: “it means we won the championship. It means the two times we didn’t decide to go or however that played out…it’s a reminder and perspective of sports’ place in society…celebration of our accomplishment…Dr. Martin Luther King Day…use this platform to speak on things that manner…bringing people together…that’s what it’s about.”
• On meeting Dr. King’s family: “Be intentional on how you approach the day. The gratitude that you have…reflection of the work that Dr. King did…freedoms, the ability to express yourself through basketball…shoulder to shoulder no matter where you come from…the fact that his family was here.”
• On going back to Boston: “electric atmosphere, I’m sure…intensity, the back-and-forth…when you do it on the road it is a different feeling…it’s just you and your family…a lot of pride in that game…we’ll be ready for it and enjoy the competition out there. I’ll refrain from saying what I said in 2015.”
• On Kerr saying he’s the modern MJ: “He played with him and understood what the road shows looked like…how DubNation’s grown over the years…you feel that energy, I don’t ever take that for granted because it wasn’t always like that…the fans being part of the journey…spending their hard-earned money on tickets…fortunate that we feel that most nights and on the road…I’ll leave it to him to make the comparison…what our accomplishments have done to bring that.”
• Steve Kerr postgame recap of fourth quarter: “Steph and Draymond led the way…everybody out there was battling…Wiggs, Lamb, JP. Not our best night defensively but we made stops when we had to and Steph took over.”
• On what changed in the second half: “Donte’s energy was important for us…exactly what you want off the bench…battle every possession…presence…hang in there. Loon made some really good defensive plays…JP really helped us stay in the game in the first half…Steph (closed the game).”
• On not a great defensive night: “We’re gonna keep trying…communicating…showing clips. We just gotta be better…mistakes on several switch situations down the stretch but guys were really competing…improve with the communication and the execution.”
• On the importance of this win: “Yeah, this is a big win. When you’re .500 every win is a big win. We know we got a really tough back-to-back…this was difficult…two straight day games…would’ve been a shame to waste (38, 38, 35 from Steph, JP and Dray).”
• On Steph breaking through rust: “You can see him breaking through barriers and I think the same thing is going on with Wiggs…easy in the game he looked sluggish. It’s hard…a month off…everybody else is in mid-season full go…Steph made some strides today.”
• On Curry getting MVP chants in Washington: “He’s the modern MJ (Michael Jordan). I used to see this playing with the Bulls. Half the crowd’s got (Jordan) jerseys…now half the crowd’s got blue and yellow 30 jerseys…Steph, he transcends the game…elicits an emotion…awe-inspiring…people can relate to him because he’s not this superhero…6-3 185…we’ve never seen anything like him… incredibly inspiring and as a result we get a ton of support on the road.”
• On Jordan Poole: “Phenomenal…a good pick and roll defender…when he’s locked in…still early in his career…roller-coaster ride…making the right play, battling defensively…we know he’s young and it’s tougher to do that night after night…getting more consistent with his play the more he gets experience.”
• On the White House visit, if it’s more special: “i don’t think we’ve played here on MLK Day…just met some of Dr. King’s family…practice here Wednesday. I’m gonna try and get out, see some of the sights…this one is extra special.”
• Steph Curry on-court postgame recap: “It’s whatever it takes at this point…good energy around the team and what it takes to win on the road…collectively we just had a little bit more composure…intelligence…not get rattled even though they went on a run in the fourth quarter.”
• On the focus on not turning the ball over: “it’s a balance…free-flowing…chaotic…can’t have the ones last night…turnovers that killed our momentum. Had a few tonight…we got great shots pretty much the whole game. That’s our formula.”
• On the White House: “Festus, come on give us some energy!…special celebration of what basketball has done for our lives…our families…it brings us all together for a good reason…the tour…what sports does for everybody…what (MLK) stood for…be in the moment and enjoy the visit.”
0:00 new intro: California Remix Rusko Remix with a "Just Us 1-2-3!!!"
5:00 I got crucified for defending Wiseman's sprained ankle as not equaling "not reliable". DOCTOR Rick Celebrini seems to prefer to be extra-cautious in bringing back guys. Why? My theory is that he understands we need to be 100% healthy for the playoffs and, yes, there is an assumption that we will get into the playoffs.
20:00 6min49 Q1 Jerome and Lamb checked in for JP and Looney
24:15 Lamb has been getting roasted on Twitter for his non-close-outs on Vucevic yesterday, but the thing is, he wasn't the only one making mistakes. The other thing is that he's been pretty locked in and hitting 3s and throwing him under the bus seems nitpicky and targeted when the real culprits yesterday were, obviously, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green (14 turnovers). One of the two times Lamb didn't close-out, it was really the POA defense screening Donte and then after that Kerr switched to a blitzing D on the PNR.
31:00 Lamb talk: he's playing like a Wiggins-type two-way player, contrary to what Twitter will have you believe
33:00 Steph's condescending shaking of the head last foul probably helped out with this foul 1min38 Q1
36:00 if Lamb is approaching the 50-game limit you could convert him then, instead of waiting until the last day of the season
38:00 on Jerome, when we're fully healthy he's the depth chart backup pg, so I can't see him getting converted. Another option: cut Rollins, hope he clears waivers and has no other offers, and sign him to a two-way, which would effectively swap the two's roster slots.
41:30 10min55 Q2 we're only up two, Kuzma at the line, you can see that we really really need Jonathan Kuminga. This year he makes a huge difference
47:30 7min28 Q2 JP bad turnover, over-dribbled, but let's remember that his Year 4 is sorta like Steph's rookie year with 3 years at Davidson
50:00 on bullyism online esp when JP is thrown under the bus for his turnovers. Jabs says it nicely: "a little bit of johnny-dribble-too-much"
52:00 6min37 Q2 Moody has to be a little bit more selective on the aggression, trainers and coaches call it time-and-score
1:05:00 Steph missed a FT at 1min30 or so and they still have him at 7/7
1:09:00 @shmelbenYT: "Otto got lucky and healthy for us last year", me: "Let's give Rick Celebrini some freakin' credit!"
1:12:00 hate to do CRAP (comparisons, rankings, awards or predictions), but Lamb greater than JTA
1:21:00 why PBJ hasn't been playing is because we're chasing wins a la the Finals, so just go look at any Finals boxscore. Also if you've been a coach, you know the trust issues with young players.
1:26:00 10min50 Q3 Wiggs loses KP to a 3, but that's what happens when you don't trust your teammate's POA defense
1:28:00 9min38 Q3 Wiggs actually lost Kispert, didn't help Steph, Steph was upset on that 3
1:47:30 1min10 Q3 timeout, but much earlier, Donte timed his cut too late, Steph missed a layup off rhythm maybe
1:51:00 if anyone could play better after end of Q3, I think it's Wiggs. But then again, maybe his wind was affected during the 2x illness, so I understand the rust.
2:07:00 the challenge on the JP and-one taking away the bucket MAKES NO SENSE. Change the rulebook, again talked about at 2:12:-00
2:16:00 we're not gonna review 2min41 Q4 KP's push in the back of course, because it's Dray
2:19:00 CALL OVERTURNED, NO MORE SLANDER ON LAMB 2min24, HOT TAKE: can Lamb get a reprieve for one day per + (+31, 31 days) of no slander on that bluebird app
2:23:30 same: good for Wiggs to partake in the final dunk dagger after the DPOY steal
3:16:00 @Jrising87 telling lies about me on Twitter
3:26:00 Nicole Diaz helps out on Twitter
• Steve Kerr pregame: Klay Thompson will sit today against the Wizards on the second side of a back-to-back. Steph Curry will play. Iguodala, Kuminga, Wiseman, JaMychal Green remain out. (Anthony Slater)
• Wizards say Bradley Beal will not play today vs. Golden State. (Marc Spears)
• Jordan Poole will start in place of Klay Thompson. He’s joined by Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney, per Steve Kerr at pregame Washington. (Kendra Andrews)
• On planning to use all 10 available Warriors today on the rough side of an afternoon back-to-back. Mentioned more Ty Jerome, Moses Moody and a likely Patrick Baldwin Jr. sighting. “We need to lean on our depth.” (Anthony Slater)
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