Even with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hopefully back next season, the Golden State Warriors are probably going to look quite different from the days of their dynasty.
Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and a few others are gone, and the team probably shouldn’t expect similar production from their replacements. That raises a clear question: Just how much load is Curry going to carry on offense?
Head coach Steve Kerr shed some light on the answer to that unknown in a podcast with The Athletic published Wednesday, and threw in some digs at the Houston Rockets in the process.
Steve Kerr: The Warriors are not becoming the Rockets
When asked about communicating with Curry and Draymond Green on how the team is preparing for the 2020-21 season, Kerr had this exchange with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami:
Kerr: We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we have very different personnel around those guys. We’re still gonna be the Warriors. We’re not gonna, all of a sudden, turn into the Rockets and change our offense and have one guy go high pick-and-roll 70 times a game.
Kawakami: That would be so you, Steve. Just do that, just do iso ball, pick-and-roll, where your heart is with this.
Kerr: I think I would resign first. We’ve got to be ourselves, and what make Steph and Klay [Thompson] the players they are is the combination of what they can do on and off ball. That’s what moves defenses.
Basically, don’t expect the Warriors to roll out the James Harden offense with Curry.
Curry and Harden have long had their broad-stroke similarities — scoring point guards that shoot monstrous amounts of 3-pointers — but the resemblance ends there, and Kerr obviously knows that. The Warriors are going to keep the system that won them three championships, and hope they can innovate on it enough that they can make up for losing players like Durant and Iguodala.
Curry is coming off a season in which he missed all but five games with a broken hand. In his first three games of the season, before his injury, he averaged 24.0 points and 6.7 assists per game with a significantly diminished roster around him. He shot 10 3-pointers per game, well in line with his usual frequency over the last five years.
As for the Rockets, we’ll see if even they play like the 70-high-pick-and-roll Rockets of old with the arrival of a new head coach.
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