Pacific Notes: Warriors, Lakers’ Coaching Search, M. Brown, Suns

After being eliminated in the play-in tournament, the Warriors know they’ll have to improve their defense to get back into title contention, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. That may include roster changes to bring in players who are more defensive-minded.

“It’s not just about scheme and personnel,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s also about how much better the rest of the league is. And how much different things are with the shooting and the pace. It’s just much, much harder to guard. There’s a reason the offensive ratings have skyrocketed. But there’s no doubt we’ve got to be better defensively. We were good at a lot of things. We were. We were, not surprisingly, excellent when Draymond (Green) was healthy.”

Suspensions and injuries caused Green to miss 27 games this season, which had a sharp impact on the team’s defensive numbers. Poole points out that the Warriors had a 113.5 defensive rating with Green, which would have ranked 11th in the league. It fell to 121.1 when he wasn’t available, the worst mark in the NBA.

“But we can’t just say, ‘Well, as long as Draymond’s healthy we will be fine defensively,'” Kerr added. “We’ve just got to be better. I’ve got to do a better job. Our staff has got to do a better job. We have to assess everything.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers are moving slowly in their head coaching search and are getting acquainted with several candidates they didn’t interview before hiring Darvin Ham two years ago, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (video link). He cites examples such as Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori, Heat assistant Chris Quinn, Pelicans assistant James Borrego and ESPN broadcaster J.J. Redick. Wojnarowski expects a lengthy hiring process, saying, “There’s no obvious choice, there just isn’t. There’s no star coach out there available.”
  • Mike Brown has proven he deserves an extension in his first two seasons as head coach of the Kings, contends James Ham of The Kings Beat (subscription required). Brown is entering the last year of his contract, and Ham believes the team should take care of him soon to avoid any speculation about his future.
  • Suns CEO Josh Bartelstein, who played a role in purchasing the franchise’s former G League affiliate when he was working for the Pistons, helped to unveil its replacement today, notes Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports. The Valley Suns give Phoenix a G League partner for the first time since 2021 when the Northern Arizona Suns were sold to Detroit and renamed the Motor City Cruise. “Ironically enough, I was the one on the other side buying the team from the Suns and getting it to Detroit, and now three years later, I’m here,” Bartelstein said. “It’s really, really important. I mean, the G League is a staple of many NBA franchises.”
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