Kerr blames himself for poor tactics in Warriors' defeat

Above: Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who had a team-high 26 points, being feted by teammates after the hosts' 111-102 victory over Golden State Warriors on Saturday. Left: Stephen Curry attempting a shot, as centre Andre Drummond (No. 0) and
Stephen Curry attempting a shot, as centre Andre Drummond (No. 0) and guard Reggie Jackson try to stop him. The Warriors guard was making his return after missing 11 games.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

DETROIT • The return of star guard Stephen Curry after an 11-game absence could not lift the Golden State Warriors as the visitors slumped to a 111-102 National Basketball Association defeat by the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

But coach Steve Kerr chose to pin the blame on himself.

Blake Griffin scored 26 points while Andre Drummond gathered a game-high 19 rebounds to go with 16 points as the Pistons (13-7) stretched their winning streak to five games. The visitors (15-9) fell to their sixth straight loss on the road.

The last time the Warriors had lost more than three in a row was before the Kerr era and Curry had been expected to inspire the two-time defending champions, who were missing Draymond Green, and get them back on track at the Little Caesars Arena after recovering from a groin injury.

But, despite finishing with 27 points, he looked rusty, going 10-of-21 and making three of nine three-point attempts.

However, Kerr attributed the Warriors' struggles from beyond the arc - shooting six-of-26 compared with the Pistons' 12 from 35 - to the way he set up his team, labelling it as "one of my worst performances as a coach".

 Stephen Curry attempting a shot, as centre Andre Drummond (No. 0) and
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who had a team-high 26 points, being feted by teammates after the hosts' 111-102 victory over Golden State Warriors on Saturday. PHOTO: REUTERS

He told ESPN afterwards: "I did not like our offence tonight. All in all, I've got to do a better job than I've done here the first couple of months of the season. We've got to get better shots. We've got to get more spacing, get better flow."

Curry was not the only Warrior to struggle from long range, with Kevin Durant, who led all scorers with 28 points, nailing just one out of seven, while Klay Thompson hit a single one from five for 21 points.

Kerr admitted he had to find internal solutions as the "paint was so bunched up", saying: "I'm just tired of seeing three people in the paint every time we are penetrating.

"I've got to do a better job of finding combinations that work and find spacing that works. Right now, what we're seeing is not working."

However, Durant felt that Kerr could not be faulted as they "did not play with the greatest sense of urgency", telling ESPN: "It's not on Steve, it's on us. Give Detroit credit, but we didn't make it tough on them at all. They were too comfortable.

  • 6

  • Number of consecutive games on the road that defending champions Golden State Warriors have lost. The last time they lost more than three in a row was before the Steve Kerr era.

"It's something that we just got to watch film and see where we can create better opportunities for us to shoot threes. Sometimes, our spacing is a little messed up and that's on the leaders on the team out on the floor to get that in order."

He also urged his teammates to take it upon themselves to end their road skid at the Hawks (5-18) today, adding: "When we go to Atlanta, I don't care what Atlanta's record is, we got to play as hard as we can."

With Green not having played since Nov 15 and a doubt for their trip to Atlanta, the Warriors will need Curry to get back into the scoring swing of things, although he conceded the "right timing" would only come with more game time.

"I just wasn't seeing the rim that well. The second half was better and I am sure that will carry over each game," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2018, with the headline 'Kerr blames himself for poor tactics in Warriors' defeat'. Print Edition | Subscribe