NBA

Kerr never seen anything like Warriors' injury crisis

By Sports Desk November 26, 2019

Steve Kerr said he has never seen anything like the Golden State Warriors' injury crisis after the embattled NBA franchise only had eight players available against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Warriors – who own the NBA's worst record at 3-15 – lost 100-97 to the Thunder on Monday in the absence of the likes of stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell.

It has been a merciless start to the season following Kevin Durant's departure to the Brooklyn Nets, with Damion Lee and Alen Smailagic also on the sidelines.

"We could have used Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell for sure," Warriors head coach Kerr, who led Golden State to last season's NBA Finals, told reporters on Tuesday.

"And Kevon Looney would have been very helpful. Jacob Evans would have helped. You need bodies in the NBA, especially to get through the long haul. And playing eight guys, as long as I've been doing this, 30, 31 years in the league, it seems like maybe once or twice a year you have eight guys. Maybe, because of crazy circumstances.

"So for us to be doing this almost routinely now is, I've never seen it. So it's a testament to the group, the Elite Eight, that I like to call them. The Elite Eight's doing a hell of a job hanging in there."

Kerr added: "We're literally unable to add an extra guy because we're hard-capped by the [Russell] sign-and-trade. So right now there's actually nothing we can do about it.

"We want to maintain our flexibility because remember, one of our eight guys, our starting point guard, is on a two-way and he's quickly using up his days, and one of our injured players is another, and so it doesn't make sense to burn through the final few hundred thousand dollars we can spend with that."

"I think it's important to keep accentuating the positives," Kerr said. "We've gotten a lot better the last few weeks. And [it's] not easy playing with eight guys. The effort was there and the defensive consistency has improved dramatically.

"The offensive execution for the most part during the game was purposeful. We took care of the ball, we moved the ball. Fourth quarter when the pressure came we didn't execute, but that's kind of the next step for this young group. So that's what we're aiming to improve upon as a group. The players, but also the coaches. We have to do our part to put them in the best position to succeed.

"So it's kind of one step at a time, and having said all that, I've been doing this for a long time in one capacity or another, and I see a lot of really positive things from this team.

"We're going to get some people back, we've been hampered by a lot of injuries, but we get [Russell] back, we get [Looney] back, we get [Green] back, what the young guys have done, what they've helped to build in the early part of the season foundationally – we're going to start winning some games. We just got to keep doing what we're doing."

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