NBA: Kerr credits ex-Dubs coach Jackson for team’s defensive prowess
The Golden State Warriors are one win away from hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy and going undefeated in the 2017 NBA Finals.
Much can be said about the Warriors’ offensive firepower, but the team’s prowess on the defensive end is truly something to marvel at.
Before current head coach Stever Kerr took over the reigns in the Bay Area in 2014, Mark Jackson was the catalyst of the then up-and-coming squad.
Prior to Game 3, Kerr was quick to credit his predecessor as the man responsible for instilling the team’s core defensive values.
“When I was in TV, I was doing Warriors games for years; every year, they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Mark came in and made a focus of being a tough defensive-minded team,” Kerr said, as relayed by ESPN.
“The year before I got here, the Warriors were the fourth-ranked defensive team in the league—already top-five. We knew what we had. We didn’t change one thing defensively,” he added.
He said they started switching more when Draymond [Green] took over the power forward role. “But for the most part, our schemes—everything—stayed the same.”
The reigning NBA coach of the year also lauded Jackson for making his transition to coaching much easier.
“We already knew they had established that defensive identity. Our job was to improve the offense—to get more movement and more flow. And that was my focus,” he said.
Kerr has returned to coach the Warriors in Game 2 after being sidelined most of the playoffs due to complications from his back surgery.
Jackson, meanwhile, currently works as a broadcast commentator for ESPN and ABC and continues to call the finals match-up between his former team and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Khristian Ibarrola /ra
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