© Orlando Ramirez | 2018 Apr 8
Steve Kerr didn’t mince words when evaluating his team’s performance after the Warriors 126-106 loss to the Pacers on Thursday evening.
“Caring in general was the main problem,” Kerr told reporters. “Yeah, I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed. I know this game doesn’t mean anything in the seeding, but the playoffs start next week. It was an embarrassing effort. A pathetic effort.”
Kerr clarified what he meant by those comments before the Warriors game against the Suns on Sunday, seeming to regret the manner in which he made them.
“My main message is we’ve got to defend,” Kerr told ESPN. “We’ve got to get back to being a top-five defensive team. I probably chose my words poorly in Indianapolis. When I said they didn’t care, that didn’t mean that they didn’t ‘care.’ What that meant to me was they didn’t box out. They didn’t get in the passing lanes. They didn’t compete at a high level. But when you say someone doesn’t care, that can be interpreted as maybe you’re questioning their character.
“I think everybody knows how I feel about our guys. They’re an amazing group, and they’re a championship group. So I probably chose my words poorly. But what I’m trying to remind my guys of is in order to win in the playoffs, you better be defending at a high level — and for the most part this year, I think we have, but the last eight, nine games, we have not. It’s not just that simple that you can flip the switch. That’s why I snapped. But you guys know me. I usually break two clipboards a year and yell at the team once, so my quota is now used up.
Kevin Durant seemed to disagree with Kerr’s analysis of the team’s performance against the Pacers, after he was informed of them on Thursday.
“Nah, I thought we cared tonight,” Durant said. “We cared. Over the last few games, we cared. …They came out with a better strategy, being more aggressive than us. … I think we care. I think everybody in this locker room cares about playing ball. I disagree with that, but I understand what he’s doing.”
The Warriors lost their next game 126-120 to the Pelicans on Saturday, but bounced back on Sunday with a 117-110 victory over the Suns. The Warriors play the last game of the regular season on Tuesday in Utah against the Jazz.