On a day that saw the Eastern Conference-leading Cavaliers abruptly dismiss its head coach, the team with the most wins in the league also had a coaching change, albeit in a more positive fashion. Interim head coach Luke Walton slid one seat down the bench as Golden State welcomed back Steve Kerr to the Warriors’ huddle. In his first game on the sidelines in four months, Kerr was quickly back to old routines: back to cracking wise-guy jokes on the sidelines; back to working the officials; back to “arguing” with Draymond Green; and back to leading the Warriors to a victory.
Here are 10 thoughts on the game:
Draymond Green Barbosa Livingston1) Draymond grabbed 11 boards and scored 22 points on only 15 shots, which was nice. Stephen Curry got his second triple-double of the season with 39 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, which was even nicer. But none of that can overshadow the return of Steve Kerr. If Dray is the engine of the team and Steph is its foundation, then let’s call Kerr the captain that guides the whole thing. Greg Popovich might be the best coach in the NBA, but I feel confident as a fan that with Kerr behind the wheel the Warriors won’t be completely out-coached in a series. I can’t wait forMonday’s showdown.

2) On a team with MVP candidate Paul George (12 points, 5-15 FG), rookie Miles Turner and some guy named Joe Young kept the Pacers within striking distance all night (at one point cutting the lead down to 6 late in the game). Turner had 31 points and 8 rebounds and showed off impressive athleticism, especially on the monster block of Shaun Livingston at the rim. He even had a nice teardrop in the lane. Turner is like the power forward version of those 6’6″, 6’7″ wiry, athletic guys (think KCP and Will Barton) that always gives the Warriors’ defense problems. Indiana plucked him with the 11th pick in the draft. George was the 10th pick. That’s some impressive scouting by Larry Legend.

3) One area for Kerr to address: the bench again failed to protect the lead built by the starters. In the minutes where Curry and Draymond were both out early in the second and fourth, the subs were outscored by 8 points. Every player from the second unit finished the night with a negative plus-minus.

4) This is obviously Stephen Curry’s world and the rest of us are just living in it. After not receiving credit for hitting a three-quarters court shot that came after the first-quarter buzzer, Steph made amends by firing in another from half-court to end the half. I don’t understand how the laws of physics are governed in Steph’s world, but I like I like living in it nonetheless.

5) You know how after a long break from work you come back to the office and there’s 200 e-mails waiting for you and a pile of paperwork on your desk? Steve Kerr got the opposite of that. He returned to his job and got another 39 victories on his record. The NBA is not real life.

6) The Warriors are now 91-0 in games where they lead by 15 points or more. A 100% winning percentage is impressive, sure, but that the team has been ahead by 15 points or more 91 times in less than two season boggles my mind.

7) Nitpicking: Draymond’s threes from a step behind the arc seem to have the lowest conversion rate. He took two from that distance that had no chance of going in.

Stephen Curry Dribbling8) David Blatt’s firing dominated NBA headlines yesterday. While losing in the Finals probably wasn’t the main reason he was let go, it is interesting that each team the Warriors beat in last year’s playoffs has gotten rid of their coach (save for Dave Joerger in Memphis, whose position was looking dicey before a recent Grizzlies surge).

9) Nothing makes me happier than 3-point baskets from Mo Speights at the end of the game. That’s two in a row!

10) After Curry hit a quick three and then followed it up with the half-court heave to turn a 7-point lead to 13, Jon Barry was left cackling to himself on the telecast. That’s often how my girlfriend finds me, staring at the screen cackling as Stephen Curry does something ridiculous on the basketball court. She thinks it’s weird, I think Steph’s world is a fun place to be.

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