Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) dribbles past Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
OAKLAND–Draymond Green is one of the most interesting and talkative guys on earth, as you all know, and he was plenty chatty after tonight’s sloppy victory over Brooklyn.
Chatty, but just not about the game, his 1-for-10 shooting, or coach Steve Kerr limiting Green to only 23 minutes of action.
On all of those topics, standing in a quiet locker room that seemed far more tense than you would ever expect from a team that just qualified for the playoffs, Green had no comment.
He smiled, but said he didn’t want to talk about it tonight–by the way, I can never remember Green declining a chance to talk after a regular-season game, not ever.
And Kerr was almost as non-communicative at his post-game presser when asked why Green played so little in a game that competitive until midway through the fourth quarter.
“It just wasn’t his night,” Kerr said tersely.
And of course Kerr is rarely terse–though he also clearly was affected by having to tell Briante Weber that he’d been cut just a few seconds before Kerr walked into the press conference room.
–BANG’s Anthony Slater is reporting that the Warriors are expected to sign Lakers guard Jose Calderon once he is released by the Lakers.
–I don’t think this was an overly popular move in the Warriors’ locker room, but I can see the logic–team management probably envisions Calderon as a much safer option if they need a third point guard in some short-term playoff situation, especially due to Weber’s non-existent offensive game.
–Calderon is a poor defensive player, but can make a shot, move the ball, and is a veteran who could fit into Kerr’s system for two or three important postseason minutes in a crisis.
–But also: Weber is well-liked by the Warriors player, and certainly brought a defensive energy that is always respected in that locker room.
–Calderon is also known as a good teammate, so we shall see how this all works out.
This is not the normal way the Warriors go about their business, and yes, I believe it partly was about Kerr and the players feeling bad for Weber, who was still in the locker room when reporters were allowed in (he declined comment).
But there was a broader, stickier weirdness to the atmosphere tonight… just as the Warriors are about to set off on a long Eastern road trip.
I’ve been in the Warriors’ locker room hundreds if not thousands of times, after horrible games and great games and middling games, and this was one of the more uncomfortable moods in there I’ve encountered.
The main guess is that there are some edgy feelings between Draymond and Kerr, possibly tied to Draymond’s listless play throughout the game and Kerr’s reaction to it.
This obviously can be changed and cleared up in a blink–Kerr and Draymond have had their issues in the past (most famously at halftime in that regular-season game in OKC last season) and have always figured it out rather quickly.
It’s part of the team dynamic–Kerr and Draymond are both fiery guys, by far the most volatile on this team, and when they bump into a little, things can get hot and stay hot for a while… and it also provides energy for the team when it happens.
No reason to think that it won’t be figured out this time, either.
But it was weird. And there are things to figure out.
Kerr was asked: Did you inform Draymond that it wasn’t his night during the game?
“No, just things weren’t going well, so we just went with a different rotation, different lineup,” Kerr said. “It just seemed like a night for that. McAdoo came in, gave us good energy. It’s no big deal.”
Do you think Green’s recent offensive struggles maybe have led to overall struggles for Draymond?
“I don’t think we’ve been moving the ball that well the last couple games,” Kerr said. “The Clipper game we had the great third quarter, but we did not move the ball particularly well.
“And I think we need to do a better job of that. We’ve got to get more five- or six-pass possessions early in the game to establish that ball movement and that rhythm and that helps everybody out.”
—Here’s Kerr on the Weber decision….
“We are actually going to let him go–just told him, just this second, and it was a very difficult thing to do, ’cause we really like him,” Kerr said.
“He’s a great, great kid and he can play in this league and he did a nice job for us. But we’re going to go in another direction. And that’s all I can say.”
So you’ll sign another point guard? “Yeah, it’ll be a point guard… We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized. Got to wait ’til it’s official.”