"Sometimes I think about when I played with the Spurs and it was Manu Ginobili's first year and Pop used to go nuts when Manu would come down and throw all these behind-the-back passes. And Finally after a game one time Pop said to Manu, why do you have to throw that pass behind the back? What are you doing? And Manu said, Pop, this is what I do. At that point, Pop was like, alright! There's a certain amount of that on this team because with the skill involved. Especially with Steph. Steph's gonna throw some around the back stuff and he's gonna make some crazy plays. Obviously so much of it is more good than bad so you live with it."
Steve Kerr is good for a couple great stories every week or so. As the Golden State Warriors pummeled the Utah Jazz 114-95 in their return to dominance, the coach's compromise with his players came into light, though to little surprise. The Warriors will always struggle with turnovers, style plays, and the recklessness of a bull seeing red. In most cases, the coaching staff wants them to play this frenetic, aesthetically fiery pace because it brings out the best most of the time. By reigining them back, and Draymond Green back, the Warriors would struggle and revert back to the Mark Jackson era. Kerr knows this, always knew this, and while some of the slowdown came at an ugly time, there's plenty of regular season to get back to normal.
This Utah game enumerated what the Warriors needed to do to get there. Marreese Speights caught and shot. Draymond Green's confidence in the 3 came back. Stephen Curry flashed his usual moments of pure historical greatness. And the rest of the team chipped in with tangibly intangible effects like Andre Iguodala's deny defense, Shaun Livingston's backdoor cuts, and Brandon Rush's floor stretchiness.
Kerr in speaking about the flow of the offense, answered my question on Dray's confidence in shooting the 3 again:
"They were all rhythm shots. That's the key. When we're moving the ball like that, and he's getting that shot out of the offense, particularly after a few passes. I want him to take all of those. How many 3s did he take? 4. They're all great shots. I want those just not the quick ones."
Though Curry's greatness is consistent and the savior on this team, Green's versatility on O is the key to their ridiculous success. But how can we get through a recap without noting another absurd Curry play?
Everyone saw the shot, but the most interesting part is how the Jazz played him to that spot. Trey Burke ran at Steph to close it out from the free-throw line, the Utah Jazz free-throw line. Steph simply took another dribble to launch. Kerr even admitted after the game he would hold the ball until after the buzzer to save his FG percentage. Steph does not care.
Normalcy is the key to last night but Marreese Speights' evolution as a 3PT shooter is saving this team's bench. Most of the time, the bench struggles because the defense isn't as stout with the offense nonexistent. If Speights can nail that shot, and he is doing so at a great rate, this team becomes actually unbeatable. Speights growth as a 3PT shooter, something we've wanted to see from all big men who think they can shoot, is the actual evolution of the David Lee 3 we prayed for.
As Leandro Barbosa called him pretty boy during his interview, Speights mused about his passing to Barbosa,
"I seen LB and Andre open. LB ran fast so I knew I had to throw it over the top. Had great arc on it, and seven."
To close it out, Kerr's summation of that performance
"That looks more like us."
That seems just about right.