NBA

Kerr provides Green injury update as Warriors prepare to 'shuffle the deck'

By Sports Desk January 12, 2022

Draymond Green is unlikely to play in the Golden State Warriors' upcoming road games against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls according to head coach Steve Kerr.

The Warriors are 28-6 this season with Green in the side but also 2-4 in games he has missed, highlighting his importance.

Klay Thompson's long-awaited return from injury on Sunday coincided with Green's calf tightness meaning the Warriors are yet to have that pair and two-time MVP Stephen Curry together.

Kerr said after Tuesday's 116-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies that Green would not be returning during their four-game road trip despite some reports.

"I think it's doubtful right now that he would join us," Kerr told reporters. "He's doing well.

"With the back-to-back, it seems far-fetched to think that we'll just fly him out and play him. He's not ready to do that. We'll see how it goes the next couple of days."

The return of Thompson, with the Warriors second in the west with a 30-10 record, marks a new beginning according to Kerr who said they will "shuffle the deck".

Thompson, who had not played for 941 days prior to Sunday's return, has spent 20 minutes on court in both appearances.

"That'll be a process as he continues to ramp up his minutes and we get Draymond back," Kerr said. "You'll see the team start to form in terms of how we're going to close games, not only offensively bur defensively.

"In a strange way, these three to four weeks are going to be about re-establishing our identity as a team. We did a great job in the first 40 games in becoming a great defensive team.

"A lot of guys have played important minutes and established roles but now that's going to be shaping up a bit because Klay is going to play a huge role.

"We've learned a lot about our young guys. Over this next month we're going to shuffle the deck and try some different combinations and try get everything in order for the stretch run and playoffs."

He added: "It's no secret that down the stretch we're going to want Steph [Curry] and Klay shooting big shots. Wigs [Andrew Wiggins] can also attack and get to the rim. We're going to call a lot of plays for Klay and try to get the ball in his hands."

Related items

  • 'It's good to know what that feels like finally' – Stephen Curry thrilled by first NBA buzzer-beater 'It's good to know what that feels like finally' – Stephen Curry thrilled by first NBA buzzer-beater

    After 13 years in the NBA, Stephen Curry finally knows the exhilaration of hitting a buzzer-beater.

    He kicked out at a courtside chair in frustration at one point on Friday evening, but the two-time MVP saved a big shot for last, his stepback 20-footer giving the Golden State Warriors a 105-103 win over the Houston Rockets.

    Curry, whose shooting from the field has fallen short of his usual high standard this season, finished the game with 22 points and 12 assists, with the wobbling Warriors bouncing back from a sorry 121-117 overtime defeat to a depleted Indiana Pacers the previous night.

    In the Pacers game, Curry had scored 39 points, but against Houston he made just six of 21 shots from the field. Ultimately, it hardly mattered thanks to his last-ditch heroics.

    "It's good to know what that feels like finally," Curry said of his special moment. "We know we dropped a ball last night, and for 30 minutes or so this game was all over the place.

    "Throughout the course of the season you can go through different dry spells.

    "We're second in the West, and we're fine. We obviously know we've got to play better if we're going to win a championship. But there are different ways to lose basketball games and last night didn't set well with any of us.

    "We had a good talk in our pre-game meeting about what we needed to do. There's always that uneasiness of knowing what you've got to do and then going out and doing it and dealing with adversity in the game when you're trying to show up and trying to bounce back, and that's what tonight was."

     

    Curry spoke of an improved mentality from the Pacers game.

    "It reminds you to keep the big-picture perspective on what we're trying to do, realise what it takes to continue to try to win at this level," said 33-year-old Curry.

    "I liked the way we fought. Everyone contributed down the stretch leading up to the shot to give us a chance. We needed it, obviously. We've got to try to build on it and bring some joy back."

    Even as his radar appeared to be off, Curry never stopped going for his shots.

    "The worst thing you could do is shy away from that next opportunity," he said.

    "The fact I had a shot to win it was because everybody stayed locked in, stayed focused and competed. That's a great sign in terms of what we're trying to build on."

    His field-goal shooting is down at 42 per cent this season, by far the lowest of any year in his career, bar 2019-20 when he played just five times. Curry's career average is 47.2 per cent, and he knows he can improve.

    "Somebody told me my open shots were like six or seven per cent lower than they usually are. There's no reason other than you're just missing shots," Curry said. "I obsess over it, but I don't panic. If I did, I wouldn't be shooting as much as I am to try to get myself through it.

    "I know I've got to shoot the ball better, and I want to shoot it better, and I'm going to shoot it better. Everything else I feel pretty good about.

    "You want to be as efficient as possible, but you also want to win games, and whatever it takes to do that is the most important."

  • Doc Rivers fires back at reporter after 76ers collapse leads to coaching question Doc Rivers fires back at reporter after 76ers collapse leads to coaching question

    Doc Rivers gave a cold response when his coaching methods were questioned following the Philadelphia 76ers' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Sixers slipped to 26-19 after giving up a 24-point lead on Friday, with Reggie Jackson's 19 points, including two free throws with a little over 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter, securing a 102-101 victory for Los Angeles.

    The collapse drew comparisons with last season's Eastern Conference semifinals, when Philadelphia blew a 26-point advantage at home to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5. The Hawks went on to win the series 4-3.

    With the Clippers missing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard for Friday's game, the defeat led to increased frustration on social media among a fan base that has never wholly warmed to Rivers since he took charge in 2020.

    That the loss came against the team he spent seven years with from 2013, one sitting eighth in the East, only made matters worse.

    However, Rivers took exception to a question suggesting his coaching was to blame, arguing Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs would never be asked the same.

     

    "Would you ask Pop that question? No, you wouldn't," he said. "So don't ask me that question. I've earned that.

    "It's a game we should have won, and we didn't."

    Joel Embiid followed up his 50 points on Wednesday with 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, but his efforts proved in vain.

    "We have a lot of guys out and that could contribute, but that's not an excuse," he said.

    "We've got to be better prepared. We got to know our assignments. We just got to be focused."

    Tobias Harris, who posted 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists, simply said: "Honestly, we just blew this one and we all know that in the locker room."

    The Sixers are at the Spurs on Sunday.

  • Irving inspired by Harden's harsh words as Nets rally Irving inspired by Harden's harsh words as Nets rally

    Kyrie Irving revealed how some stern words from Brooklyn Nets team-mate James Harden provided the catalyst for his fourth-quarter blitz against the San Antonio Spurs.

    The Nets moved into top spot in the Eastern Conference with a hard-fought 117-102 win over the Spurs on Friday.

    While Harden put up 37 points with 10 rebounds and 11 assists, Irving had only nine points heading into the final quarter and was scoreless in the third.

    He put that right with a 15-point showing down the stretch and then offered an insight into what had inspired his late flurry.

    "James kind of yelled at me," Irving said. "It's not a negative yell, but he yelled at me, 'Kai, get the f*****g ball!' in the third quarter after he scored [12 points] in the quarter.

    "I kind of took that personal. I just wanted to come out in the fourth quarter in an aggressive mindset and just play within the flow of the offense."

    It was a reaction that saw the shackles thrown off for the Nets, who are now 29-16, and Harden never doubted Irving's ability to turn it on.

    "For sure, it was a breakthrough," said Harden. "He's capable of doing that at any moment and any point in the game.

    "That's one of the reasons why we need him every single game, because he's able to do that, especially with everything that's going on with our team.

    "But he's able and more than capable of doing things like that whenever he wants. I think he just tries to get us involved a little bit more, but he's a special talent.

    "We have a decent rhythm between one another of just getting out of each other's way but also demanding each other to play at that level.

    "When it's us going together and us doing it as a tandem or a duo, it opens up the space for everyone. When we're playing with the unbelievable pace like we were in the fourth quarter, I don't see too many teams that can keep up with that."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.