The Golden Stae Warriors regained control of their season on Sunday when they beat the Phoenix Suns, yet they’re 7-9 since March 9, an unusual streak of mediocrity for them.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr lashed out at the team days earlier, questioning their concentration and added that “caring in general was the main problem” after they lost to the Pacers and appeared listless.
Kerr was in a backtracking mode of sorts on Sunday, acknowledging that he “chose my words poorly” and explained why he was harsh about a club that’s still missing Stephen Curry and has the No. 2 seed in the West wrapped up. Kerr said the players do care but need to show it on both ends of the floor, and he hasn’t seen that effort over the last month.
Baxter Holmes of ESPN was there when Kerr put his team and his criticism of the Warriors in the proper perspective:
“My main message is we’ve got to defend,” Kerr said. “We’ve got to get back to being a top-five defensive team. I probably chose my words poorly in Indianapolis. When I said they didn’t care, that didn’t mean that they didn’t ‘care.’ What that meant to me was they didn’t box out. They didn’t get in the passing lanes. They didn’t compete at a high level. But when you say someone doesn’t care, that can be interpreted as maybe you’re questioning their character.
“I think everybody knows how I feel about our guys. They’re an amazing group, and they’re a championship group. So I probably chose my words poorly. But what I’m trying to remind my guys of is in order to win in the playoffs, you better be defending at a high level — and for the most part this year, I think we have, but the last eight, nine games, we have not. It’s not just that simple that you can flip the switch. That’s why I snapped. But you guys know me. I usually break two clipboards a year and yell at the team once, so my quota is now used up.”
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