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Steve Kerr on Jordan Poole: “He’s not afraid of the moment”

Postgame Roundup: See what the Warriors had to say following their win against the Nuggets on Saturday night.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night for their first playoff victory since the 2019 NBA Finals. The game was close early, but the emergence of a new Warriors’ closing lineup took the lead and never looked back, as they handily beat the Nuggets by a score of 123-107. Here are some of the takeaways from the Warriors postgame pressers:

Steve Kerr Discusses the Game

Head coach Steve Kerr came in with an excellent game-plan that focused on Denver’s biggest weapon, Nikola Jokic. On defense, Kerr decided to defend Jokic straight-up in order to avoid doubling and to minimize his passing ability. Kerr said the key to defending him one-on-one is understanding how to guard him without fouling. He specifically praised Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and Nemanja Bjelica for taking the challenge and executing the game-plan perfectly.

Offensively, the plan was to attack Jokic as much as possible. This was epitomized by Kerr’s newest rendition of the “Death Lineup”. Kerr talked about how fun it was to finally see this lineup combination in action. He noted that its success comes from how well the players in the lineup complement each other and how it puts each player in their best positions to succeed.

Other than that, Kerr praised all his players for their contributions as every available player received minutes on Saturday night. He talked about how possessions are a key stat in the playoffs, so it was important that the team won that battle. Lastly, he gave credit to Jordan Poole for all the work he has done since his rookie year. Kerr said Poole has earned the trust of the vets because of his work ethic and his season long performance.

Here’s what Kerr had to say about the game:

Warriors Players Discuss the Game

The Warriors came into this game the healthiest they’ve been all season which meant this was the perfect opportunity to showcase the newest rendition of their “Death Lineup”. Jordan Poole was particularly phenomenal in this lineup as he finished the game with 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, including 5 made threes. Poole took the time to thank the vets for trusting him and said he fed off their energy as well as the energy of the crowd.

Klay Thompson ended Saturday night with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field, including 5-of-10 from the three-point line. In his postgame presser, Thompson took a moment to appreciate the feeling of being back in the playoffs. He said it was special to have all the guys on the court again and will never take that feeling for granted. He also praised Poole’s stellar performance and went on to discuss the chemistry he’s formed with him over the past month.

Stephen Curry knew he was going to have limited minutes going into Saturday’s game, so he wanted to make those minutes as impactful as possible. Although he finished with 16 points on 5-of-13 shooting from three, his gravity on the court provided the spacing which gave his teammates wide open looks all night. Curry finished the game with a plus/minus of +17. Curry noted that as long as they can keep up defensively, then the new lineup has all the makings of a very “potent offense”.

Here’s what the Warriors players had to say after the game:

News and Notes

Kerr said Steph looked good in his first game back. Curry was rusty in the beginning but found a rhythm as the game went on. Kerr said he will defer to Curry and the training staff for how to handle his minutes moving forward.

On Sunday, Kerr gave an update on Curry:

Meanwhile, many reporters tried to get Kerr to reveal his plans for the starting lineup following Saturday night’s game. However, Kerr and everyone else on the team maintained that they will deal with it when they get there.

Quote of the Night

The quote of the night belongs to Stephen Curry. For all the sneakerheads out there, Curry wore his Curry 6s in what he says was an homage to Oracle Arena as this was their first playoff win in the Chase Center since leaving Oakland.

Recap

Saturday’s win set the tone for the series with the Dubs taking an early 1-0 lead. Although this is just Game 1, it was a very impressive victory from the Warriors to start the postseason. Up next, Golden State will host Denver for Game 2 on Monday at 7pm.

You can find the full transcripts of Game 1’s Postgame Pressers here.