Warriors will have to be courageous without Kerr

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, center, speaks during NBA basketball practice in Oakland, Calif., Friday, April 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Coach Steve Kerr is out for the rest of the Warriors’ first-round series because of an unknown health problem. Can the Warriors win the title if Kerr misses extended time?

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The story:

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday he won’t return to the sideline until he can find a remedy for the painful symptoms he’s experiencing due to complications from back surgery almost two years ago. He acknowledged this could keep him out the remainder of the playoffs.

Steve Kerr:

“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next. I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff. We’re hoping that over the next week or two, or whatever it is, I can start to make a definitive realization, a reduction, or just feel it that I’m going to do this or not. The symptoms, for whatever reason, took a turn for the worse maybe five days ago. I was able to manage the pain and discomfort over the last year and a half, and suddenly things got a lot worst and I don’t know why. I can tell you, if you’re listening out there, if you have a back problem, stay away from surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anybody get in there. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

Stephen Curry on Kerr:

In case we forgot:

Steve Kerr took a 51-win Warriors team that lost in the first round, and in a stroke of pure genius, redefined them as a 3-point shooting juggernaut and also thrust Draymond Green from reserve to starter (with some “luck” as David Lee got injured), and three years later, some might argue that Green is the most indispensable player on the Warriors dynasty because he does so much.

On Mike Brown:

Brown arrived in Oakland this year in place of Luke Walton, who rode his 39-4 record* (*the wins officially went on Kerr’s tab) to a job with the Los Angeles Lakers. Brown found Kerr’s coaching style to be a revelation. Kerr was so open, so receptive to his players that it made Brown think back to the way he ran things as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lakers and realize that he had driven his teams too hard. Now, he’d seen the light. When Brown met with the ESPN broadcast crew before Game 3 on Saturday night, after the Warriors announced Kerr was ill and Brown would take his place, Brown marveled about how much he had learned from Kerr even though Brown has coached more than twice as many NBA games as him. He vowed to coach as Kerr-like as possible.

Jason McIntyre from the Big Lead on Mike Brown:

Mike Brown? He is a former Popovich assistant! He led the Cavs to back-to-back 60-win seasons! Also, he didn’t make the finals in either of those 60-win seasons (with LeBron!), then went to the Lakers and with Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant, couldn’t make the Princeton offense work, and was fired very early in his second season. Amazingly, Brown then went back to Cleveland, couldn’t do anything in one season with a young team led by Kyrie Irving, and was fired. Two years later, the Warriors picked him up.

Dave Schilling from Bleacher Report:

The facile argument is that he will struggle to captain this squad on short notice, that he doesn’t have the tactical mind to overcome offensive geniuses like Mike D’Antoni or statistical anomalies like LeBron James. The reality is he’s coaching a team that only needs him to be present. Concern isn’t warranted in a situation where the man in charge is so aware of his role. … Offense was never Brown’s specialty. He’s a defensive specialist and that’s going to come in handy against teams like the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers that have so many shooters who demand attention. In the 2006-2007 season, when Brown took Cleveland to the Finals, the Cavs had the fourth-ranked defense in the league, per Basketball Reference. It showed in the second half of Game 3, when the Warriors started trapping and switching more effectively. The result was a mind-blowing 87.5 defensive rating for the half, per NBA.com.

What do the fans think?:

What do you think? Can the Warriors win the title without Kerr?

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