Having to get by without Steve Kerr for the first 43 games of last season has made the transition easier this year, assistant coach Bruce Fraser tells Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News. Ongoing complications from Kerr’s 2015 back surgery forced him to miss Games 3 and 4 of the Trail Blazers series and have put his availability in question for the next round and beyond. Former NBA coach Mike Brown has taken over the team on an interim basis and “has been really good with letting our culture stay intact,” Fraser said.
Fraser adds that helping Kerr get healthy is the organization’s primary concern. “I used to ask him a lot at the beginning how he was doing and I could tell after a while he just didn’t like that question,” Fraser said. “He hides it from everyone. I’m no different. But he also doesn’t want you to feel sorry for him. He doesn’t want it to be a crutch for himself or a hindrance to the team or us. He learned how to manage it pretty well. So he was really good with it all–some moments better than others. It just got worse. We just need to get him back.”
There’s more Warriors news this morning:
- Brown brings a different tone to Golden State’s huddles, but he is maintaining the same philosophies that Kerr employs, Kevin Durant says in the same piece. “They’re two different voices, two different personalities,” Durant said. “They work well with each other and they learn from each other I can tell. But we play a certain way and we’ve been playing that way the whole season. It’s not like coach Brown is coming in trying to change anything up. He’s coaching us within the flow of the game and whatever he sees he’s going to help us out.”
- The Warriors are hoping to have Matt Barnes and Shaun Livingston available when their second-round series starts Tuesday, relays the Associated Press. Barnes, who has been out since April 8th with a foot injury, has been upgraded to probable for Game 1. Livingston remains questionable with a sprained finger on his right hand that he suffered in the opener against Portland. Durant is expected to play without the minutes restriction that was imposed when he returned from a strained left calf for Game 4 against the Blazers.
- Center Zaza Pachulia talks the experience of being surrounded by mega-stars in the “Warriors Plus-Minus” podcast with Kawakami.