OAKLAND – Unlike players Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, who said they have no desire to watch the Game 7 loss in the NBA Finals, Warriors coach Steve Kerr did subject himself to watching the video.
After taking a peek Thursday, while flying from Southern California to Oakland for the NBA Draft, Kerr conceded he has regrets.
“I broke it down; I couldn’t do it the last four days,” Kerr told Tom Tolbert of KNBR 680. “But I was on an airplane and said, ‘All right, I’ve got to watch this.’ That was the biggest thing to me.
“The last four minutes, we never got the ball into the post. We never got the ball into the paint. We were all around the 3-point line. We were just launching jumpers, and we’re going to have to do better with that against a great defensive team.”
The Warriors, who during the regular season finished No. 1 in offense, did not score over the final 4:39, missing their last nine shots.
While not singling out players or staff members, Kerr said the Warriors were victims of both tactical errors and poor execution in the 93-89 loss to Cleveland. He spared neither himself nor his staff for decisions made that failed.
“We think about it,” Kerr said. “Sometimes it works out and everybody says, ‘Oh, what a great move.’ And then sometimes it doesn’t work out, and you feel like an idiot. It’s just the way it goes. You do your best. You make a decision for a good reason and then it either works or it doesn’t. And there were a couple of them in this series that didn’t, and I will lament.”
Considerable criticism was directed toward Kerr for his liberal use of backup big men Anderson Varejao and Festus Ezeli, both of whom were minus-9 in a combined 19 minutes off the bench. The only full-time big man in the plus category was Marreese Speights, who didn’t score but grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots to finish plus-3 over five minutes.
There also were questions about the second-half use of Draymond Green, who scored 22 points in the first half on 8-of-10 shooting but got only five shots after intermission.
“There are definitely some things that I would change, if I could go back and make a couple different decisions,” Kerr said. “But you live and you learn. It’s also a reminder of just how hard it is. Because when you get down to the final four teams in the NBA, everybody’s great. Those last two series – Oklahoma City and Cleveland – were incredible.”
Looking ahead to next season, Kerr said, emphatically, that there would be no “quest for 74” wins, that 60 would be just fine.
Meanwhile, Kerr and the Warriors will try to get past the epic collapse that made them the first team in NBA history to lose The Finals after taking a 3-1 lead.
“To win a Game 7, you’ve got to be able to make a couple shots,” Kerr said. “We’d made shots all year long. Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) had been so good. And they each had a shot that rattled in and out early fourth, 3s that could’ve made a huge difference.
“Sometimes, it’s just that close. You’re this close and the other team is really good, too, and they make a play and you don’t, and, bam, it’s over.”