OAKLAND – After Steve Kerr took a seat at his postgame news conference and praised his team's defense in a 104-89 victory over the Mavericks on Friday night, his mood slipped into darkness.
Noting that the Warriors committed 22 turnovers – the most since Nov. 9 – the coach said the team had "gotten worse" on the offensive end.
"I have no idea what I was looking at offensively," he said. "It was really a poor performance, way too many silly passes and passes that didn't need to be made. Risky plays. We are always talking about making simple plays and moving and cutting. Right now, we're dribbling into crowds, standing around and we are not cutting and setting screens."
After sleeping on it and putting the Warriors through a 90-minute practice session Saturday, Kerr backed off. Slightly.
"The bar is set pretty high," he said. "We know that we're going to score regardless, because we have talented players, and it's a huge luxury. But we’re thinking long-term. Against the best defenses in the postseason, that's not going to get it done.
"I don't want to come across as a nitpicker all the time; I'm more of a realist than anything. I know what it's going to look like in a couple months and the teams that do the best in the playoffs have the talent but they also have the execution, offensively."
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The Warriors, understand, are 48-12 and as of Saturday afternoon lead the Western Conference by 4.5 games. They've exceeded even the most optimistic expectations.
But committing 22 turnovers against Dallas two nights after committing 18 against Milwaukee, well, that's a flare-up. This is Kerr's biggest pet peeve and grounds for going back to school.
"That's No. 1," Kerr said. "Now Ron Adams, he sees the game from a defensive perspective: If we give up an easy basket off a defensive mistake, that's his biggest pet peeve. But for me, it's turnovers – particularly careless ones that make no sense.
"For the most part, we've been really good this year, minus the first seven games and minus the last two games. But it's a little disturbing that we've had two bad turnover games in a row, because I thought we were beyond a lot of the silly ones like we made (Friday night)."