Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has constantly tried to find different ways to maximize the strengths of his team over the years and by turning over coaching duties to his players in last night’s 129-83 win over the Phoenix Suns, he may have just started a new trend.
Allowing the Warriors players to run their own plays during a game was exactly the sort of daring approach the Warriors need right now to disrupt their normal routine and work through this midseason malaise. Some may see this as a sign of disrespect towards the opposing coaching staff — it’s fair to make that assumption and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
“Disruptive innovation” is a common buzz phrase in Silicon Valley and a fitting term for the Bay’s team and its rise to prominence overall. You can describe this particular situation however you want, but don’t deny coach Kerr’s ability to be innovative and change up the approach to enable the team to refocus when they’ve been mentally adrift. The Warriors have looked unmotivated and sluggish on court lately; they needed a reason to stay motivated headed into the all-star break.
To be a good coach you have to demonstrate some level of success. To be a great coach, you have to be daring and willing to choose an unpopular approach to achieve a better outcome. So the Warrior Wonder for last night’s game against the Suns goes to: Steve Kerr, who found an innovative solution for his team’s lackluster play.
Coach Andre Iguodala
Early in the first quarter, Kerr hands over the clipboard to Andre Iguodala. The key here is not that Iguodala is calling the play, but the engagement and demeanor displayed by the other players. As Iguodala is calling out the play, the team is attentive and engaged.
The Warriors may have four all-stars and a loaded roster but their strength is their ability to work as a collective unit and that starts with trusting each other.
Coach Draymond Green
Green was not able to play for this game but was able to put his suit to use and make good use of his time on the sidelines. There is not much to take from this video alone but note that Green did run a play later in the fourth quarter that ended up in an Omri Casspi three-pointer which was his first make in nearly two months!
Draymond absolutely has the ability to be a coach in the NBA, but he’d pay his salary in technical foul fines. pic.twitter.com/Yr4Gxt1kRW— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) February 13, 2018
Kerr’s innovative approach
In the post game conference, Kerr addressed his reasoning for allowing his players to call the game. The most important themes that came up were: “their team, guiding them, determine their own fate, and communicating together”.
Having each player run a play and try to go out and execute is an unconventional approach and initially may lead to turnovers or botched plays. With time, this can become refined and enable players to gain an even deeper understanding of their court awareness.
What Kerr is enabling the players to do is be more conscious of their efforts and how they communicate with one another. Kerr is pulling a page out of Phil Jackson’s book and acting more as a guiding force while the players succeed and fail together.
Steve Kerr on why he let his players coach tonight’s game against Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/TpEyvl9DoY— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 13, 2018
“It’s their team,” Steve Kerr said after the game. “I think that’s one of the first things you have to consider as a coach: It’s not your team, it’s not Bob Myers’ team, it’s not Joe Lacob’s team... It’s the players’ team. It’s their team. They have to take ownership of it, and as coaches, our job is to nudge them in the right direction, guide them. But we don’t control them. They determine their own fate. I don’t feel like we’ve focused well at all in the last month.”
Mind blowing stat of the game
There were many impressive stats this game, but this was by far the most jaw dropping. When the Warriors coach themselves this season, they are undefeated.
The Warriors have a 100% winning percentage and have outscored their opponents by 46.0 points per game when the players coach themselves. pic.twitter.com/TLuarH2l3v— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 13, 2018
Now it is your turn to vote for your Warrior Wonder for last night’s game.
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Suns?
This poll is closed
Coach Andre Iguodala
Coach Steve Kerr
Coach Draymond Green
Coach David West
Other (indicate in the comments)