Shootaround Notes - 5/14/18
Draymond Green & Steve Kerr Speak With Media Ahead of Game 1 in Houston
Draymond Green & Steve Kerr speak with the media ahead of Game 1 in Houston.
The Warriors convened for shootaround on Monday morning ahead of Game 1 against the Rockets, after that session was initially planned to be optional. So why the change? Steve Kerr said that with the late tipoff, it helps to break up the day:
"8 o'clock game, it's a long day to sit around in your hotel room, so yeah, just get over here and get some shots up," related Kerr. "Break up the day a little bit."
PRACTICE AFTER FLIGHTS
Monday's shootaround was Golden State's second time hitting the court since arriving in Houston. The team went straight to the Toyota Center after landing at the airport and held an evening practice on Sunday. According to Draymond Green, the night practices following flights aren't always looked forward to by the players, but they have long-term benefits:
"It helps a lot," said Green. "Just to come in and get off the plane and get your legs moving, get a feel for the ball, I think it makes a huge difference. I know it helps me feel a lot better that next day. Every time we get off the plane, we're like ‘Ahh, we gotta go to the gym.' But that next day you feel so much better. I think it helps a lot."
SHOOTING GUARD MATCHUP
There are a lot of great players on both sides of this Western Conference Finals, and several of them play the same position. One of those star-studded positional matchups is that of the shooting guards, between Golden State's Klay Thompson and Houston's James Harden. They've both had highly successful careers up to this point after growing up around the same time in Southern California. However, according to Kerr, they currently go about their business in very different ways:
"Maybe the two best shooting guards in the league," offered Kerr, "but they go about it very differently. James is going to dribble, and Klay is going to shoot. So they're both awesome at what they do. It's fun to watch the contrast in styles."
DON'T FORGET ABOUT REBOUNDING
Much has been made of the offensive firepower in this series, and for good reason. The Warriors and Rockets had the two best offensive ratings in the NBA during the regular season, and between players like Thompson, Harden, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, there are a bountiful number of players capable of taking over a game offensively. But this Western Conference Finals will be about more than simply who can score more points than the other. One overlooked area may, in fact, be rebounding, which Kerr believes will have a critical impact on the series ahead:
"It's a big, big rebounding series," said Kerr. "They get a lot of threes off their offensive boards. They shoot so many of them – 44 a game I think – and so there's a lot of misses. And we've gotta box out, but we also have to understand that you can't just run to the rim and look up and think the ball is going to be there. The ball is going to bounce over your head on those long shots. So, kind of have to form a wider circle in your rebounding shell."
MEMORY & GREAT PLAYERS
At this point, you might have seen the video of LeBron James reciting the events of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals from memory at his postgame press conference. Naturally, it was a topic of discussion at Monday's shootaround.
"That was really impressive," said Green.
Steve Kerr didn't think it was all that unusual, given who was doing the reciting.
"No, not for a great player. I think great players remember everything. It's like a quarterback."
Kerr was then asked who on the Warriors might be capable of something like that. The names he mentioned: Green and Andre Iguodala.
Throughout the last few seasons, there have been times when Green has messaged a teammate to encourage them or get a point across. According to Kerr, that leadership has been a vital part of the Warriors' success:
"Every team requires internal leadership," said Kerr. "As a coach, you do what you can, you do your job, the staff does their job, but the guys have to lead themselves, too. There's usually kind of a pecking order that forms, and, you know, Draymond is the guy who happens to usually talk the loudest and say the most, and he has a lot of good things to say. So, yeah, he's been great leading the team from within."
Knowing what to say to whom and when to say it isn't always abundantly obvious, though. Everybody's different, and therefore, so must be leadership styles:
"There's different styles of leadership that you must take on when dealing with different guys," said Green. "That's just something I've kind of learned over my years. It's something that Coach Izzo used to tell me a lot. ‘You can't lead a guy if you don't know him.'"