There were a lot of factors that went into Mark Jackson being let go as Golden State’s head coach, but there was one key on the court:
Despite all that firepower on offense, the Golden State Warriors were 12th in the NBA in offensive efficiency (points per possession). They were middle of the pack, average. There offense was seen as too simplistic and with not enough ball movement (second lowest percentage of assists on threes in the NBA last season). They didn’t get enough from a very talented roster.
What is Steve Kerr going to do differently?
Kerr laid out his offensive strategy speaking to the media in the Bay Area Thursday, as transcribed by Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. Of course there will be a lot of Stephen Curry, but Andrew Bogut will have a big role and Marreese Speights and Draymond Green will have to play some stretch four.
“I think we’re going to emphasize throwing the ball ahead to our wings and trying to attack from the wings and get some easy baskets in transition. And when you do throw it ahead it puts a lot of pressure on the defense in transition and makes it easy to run some sort of secondary offense. You throw it ahead, you cut throw, you swing it, you swing it and all of a sudden Steph’s got the ball again but now the defense has had to move. Those will be the things to look for, I think…
“Andrew’s one of the best passing centers in the league. He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. For us to get him the ball on the elbows as a dribble handoff guy, backdoor pass guy, that will be emphasized…. I believe in throwing the ball in the post. I know the game has changed over the last six-eight years, there are not a lot of post players and a lot of teams are just spreading the floor and you get your penetration through the dribble…
“So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived here and saw Mo Speights shooting the ball. I think Mo can fill (the stretch four) role. If we want to go small I think Harrison and Draymond can play some 4. They’re both good shooters from the three-point line–getting better, I think, too.”
Kerr said he wants to maintain what Jackson had built on defense, reports Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com. Golden State was a top three defensive team last season and if they want to contend they can’t improve the offense at the sake of the defense.
Kerr said he spent the summer trying to build relationships with the players. He understood why they were supportive of former coach Jackson, but he just wanted to build his own relationships. He said every player has been very professional with him.
Expect the Warriors to stumble a little early as they try to find their groove with Kerr (and Kerr figures out exactly what he wants to do with this offense). The question is how they look around the All-Star break and beyond as they gear up for the playoffs.