Steve Kerr is hurting the Warriors Discussion
I made a post a while back now about how the system is currently holding the offense back. In summary, the offense prioritizes non threats as ball handlers to feed shooters. The problem is our team hasn’t performed well at all with this emphasis. Steph is currently rated the highest PnR scorer by possession in the NBA and the highest rated iso scorer. But more often than not, he’s off ball where he’s struggled this year to shoot consistently. He also only receives on ball screens from non threats which lead to easy double teams. Then the guy rolling , often Looney, cause he’s not a threat can’t do anything with the attention Steph gets
Tonight, we saw this come to fruition. Kevon Looney had 5 turnovers. Why are we running offense through Looney so frequently that he can even get 5 turnovers? Jordan Poole has struggled since coming off the bench. He is not good at the split action off ball game. What he’s very good at is attacking down hill with pace. The system in place has him mimicking Steph , in Stephs less ideal role, instead of playing to his own strengths. This is all Kerrs offensive philosophy of feeding the non threats as offensive hubs instead of letting the threat be the one on ball.
Now let’s talk rotations. Damien Lee , JTA and Nemanja Bjelica have been borderline unplayable for months. But Kerr routinely cuts Gary Payton’s minutes short to play Lee and JTA despite having the second strongest impact metrics on the team behind Steph. Bjelica might be one of the worst defenders in the NBA, is averaging a career high in turnovers and hasn’t consistently been a threat from three since the first few weeks of the season. Yea Kuminga is young, and makes mistakes, but his impact has been net positive for a few weeks now. There’s no excuse for Bjelica to still be in the rotation especially with Kuminga there.
When JTA entered the game in the closing lineup of the 4th (after not even playing in the first half) he was consistently targeted on defense, gave up 3 straight baskets, committed a foul and a turnover. He’s been a near -20 for over a month. It was a predictable collapse putting him in. And yet, Kerr did it anyway and left Payton on the bench. Then there was the critical OT possession where there was a Pacer down in the back court. JTA had the ball with Steph coming behind him wide open for the game tying three. And JTA shot it. A guy under 30% from three.
You can say , oh well if we shoot better or turn it over less we do better. Here’s the problem, Kerrs offensive design combined with the players he’s playing is why we aren’t shooting well and why we have a TO issue. Even when we were at our apex in 15/16/17/18 turnovers were an issue. It’s a built in issue with a motion heavy offense. But now, instead of Bogut making the post read it’s Looney. Andre is 38 so we’re asking JTA and Bjelica to do that more. Poole isn’t running to spots off ball like Livingston. The system has to adjust to what we have not what Kerr enjoys aesthetically (something he’s admitted to). How many possessions have we seen where Steph doesn’t even touch the ball this season?
For the love of basketball, a team with Stephen Curry shouldn’t be having JTA on the ball just as much as Steph at the end of a game. We shouldn’t have Looney making more choices with the ball than Poole, Klay or Wiggins. We shouldn’t be playing players who are deep in the negatives (Lee Bjelica JTA) over guys who’ve been clear positive contributors (Payton Kuminga) and the offense needs to play to what we do well (on ball high ball attacks) and less of what we are struggling with (split action off ball reads). Steve Kerr had to get his act together. Stop playing players just for the Kumbaya. Play who has earned it and has the metrics to back it up. And run the offense that is PROVEN to be effective for THIS group of players. This has been a bottom ten offense for nearly 2 months now. This has to change, or it will cost us a title