No Apology Needed
This was not like the kind of switch Don Nelson used to make in the postseason when the Warriors would do something they hadn’t been doing all season, a surprise that was seldom successful after the first game. Kerr has mixed and matched with his lineup all season, using every player on the squad. One of the lineups that has been most successful is the kind of small lineup he used in game 4.
It was also obvious after game 3 that he had to make a drastic change. The Warriors were sleep walking through the games, and Steph Curry was struggling with his shot. I believe Curry’s fall in the final game of the previous series was more damaging that he admitted – he would never use that as an excuse, of course – and it wasn’t until the second half of the third game when he got back on course, mentally and physically.
The rest of the team, though, had no such excuse, so Kerr knew he had to shake up his lineup and his team, so he went with a smaller lineup with Andre Iguodala at center, guarding Lebron James at one end of the court and nailing three-pointers at the other end.
Kerr had used small lineups before. One of the best aspects of his coaching has been his willingness to use his whole squad. Iguodala had been a starter throughout his NBA career but Kerr convinced him he could extend his career by playing fewer minutes. Iguodala bought into that and he was much fresher for this test than he’d have been if he’d been starting all season.
That is in stark contrast to Cleveland coach David Blatt, who went with a seven-man rotation all season and is still going with that. The Cavaliers obviously have less depth than the Warriors but even when the Warriors had a 20-point lead with two minutes to go, Blatt didn’t use any player beyond the first seven. Would it have hurt him to put in the remaining players on the bench so they could say they’d played in an NBA Final?
My chief problem, though, is with writers covering these games who expect the coach to tell them what’s happening. Basketball is not a very complicated game. If I were covering these games, I’d be ashamed if I needed a coach to explain to me what had just happened.
These are the same guys who thought it was terrible when Curry’s 2 ½ - year- old daughter was crawling around under his feet at an earlier playoff game. My wife and I thought it was hilarious and I called my son to tell him that he and his wife needed to watch it.
Later, of course, a group of media types complained that this upset the whole post-game interview show. Poor babies. They take themselves much too seriously.
I do hope that Kerr doesn’t lie to the media members any more. Their tender psyches can’t take it.
What do YOU think? Let me know!
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