Sacrifice is a key component to the Warriors‘ success, according to head coach Steve Kerr, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com. Andre Iguodala has arguably sacrificed the most for the team by taking a reduced role as the team’s sixth man off the bench. “It’s a good fit, but not something Andre is thrilled about. The fact he has accepted it and sacrificed has kind of set the tone for our team. They look at him and see an All-Star and Olympian and guy who’s been around the league and willing to step back; that’s pretty powerful,” said Kerr. Smith notes that Kerr set the example for sacrificing by signing for less money than the team offered because as a rookie coach he believed he didn’t warrant the same level of pay as accomplished veteran coaches.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Nuggets have one of the deepest rosters in the league but their depth can be viewed as a blessing and a curse, writes Adi Joseph of USA Today. Point guard Ty Lawson is the only player on the team averaging more than 31 minutes per game. While a decrease in playing time may not sit well with some players, USA gold medalist Kenneth Faried understands the team’s situation. “There’s a whole bunch of competition for minutes,” Faried said. “Everybody on this team either has been a starter or has played on a team where they were the man. It’s kind of like coming from college to the NBA. That’s what this team feels like. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to get minutes. But it’s tough right now.”
- The Spurs are both new age because of their rich blend of international cultures and old school because they have retained their core players in a way that predates free agency, writes Harvey Araton of The New York Times. Head coach Gregg Popovich credits the team’s environment as reason for the unprecedented continuity. “All these guys, the core guys, they’ve made less money in San Antonio than counterparts all across the league–people who will say they gave up this,” Popovich said. “But these guys have given up real money with every new contract to stay together. These guys care about quality of life, and it falls into the way they play.”
- Jordan Clarkson has been re-assigned to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the D-League affiliate of the Lakers, the team announced (Twitter link). This will be the third appearance in the D-League for Clarkson this season.