Kurtenbach: Steve Kerr turned in his best coaching performance of the year… by not coaching

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr watches the game against the Orlando Magic in the first quarter at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Steve Kerr found a way to make a game against the Phoenix Suns in February interesting.

If that’s not coaching genius, I don’t know what is.

The Warriors are days away from the much-needed and much-anticipated All-Star break, and that gave Monday’s game against a shorthanded Suns team a good chance of being the nadir of a season where the Warriors’ dazzling talent has too often given away to disinterest and on-court lethargy.

But Kerr was able to coax a strong, engaged effort out of his team in their final home game before the break, as the Warriors beat Phoenix by 46 points.

And all Kerr had to do to get his team to play their best basketball was to get of the way.

(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Kerr handed over control of his team to… well, his team, on Monday and it paid almost immediate dividends. Instead of his stars — fried from three-and-a-half years of being the NBA’s best team — going through the motions against an inferior team, they were the ones drawing up the motions on the grease board during timeouts. (To varying degrees of success.)

It was a pitch-perfect move executed at the right time and, to me, it stands out as the best coaching performance of the season for Kerr and one of his finest performances of his career. Yes, even though he wasn’t really the coach on Monday.

We’d like to think that coaches prove their worth in the big moments or over long spans of time, but the truth is that they’re also defined by how they handle a team during Monday night games against the Suns in February.

Kerr admitted after Monday’s game that he felt his team was tuning him out — something that didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who covers the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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