Q&A: Steve Kerr

Courtesy of TIM KAWAKAMI

-Q: You always mention Andre Iguodala’s plus-minus a lot, that he’s usually way up there or leading the team. Have you guys zeroed in on why he always seems to be such a big “plus”?

-KERR: He handles the ball a lot for us. I don’t know if he’s still leading the league, but his assist-to-turnover ratio is like 6 to 1.

So you know we’re a little bit wild as a team, we get a little carried away with our theatrics. Which I’m fine with as long as we walk the line.

But Andre helps us kind of get that balance where we need it. He just makes smart plays constantly.

And since he’s handling the ball, when he gets out there, he frequently will make a play where he… makes a great play defensively and then converts it into a three.

Like the other night, he hit Klay on a trail pass after leading the break. The whole defense went back into the lane in transition, he made a jump-stop and turned around and hit Klay for a trail three.

He gets it. He just… he’s just so smart.

He just calms us down, I think, offensively, and then he’s brilliant on defense. So we just see him make one smart play after another.

-Q: And it looks like Durant is almost looking to set up Iguodala for shots. Do you want that?

-KERR: KD is always looking for other people. He’s so unselfish, it’s amazing to watch. Because he can get any shot he wants any time. But he’s constantly trying to get everybody else involved, which is a great trait, especially for a superstar.

He and Andre are usually playing together out there. Andre will check in for him and then a few minutes later KD will come back for whoever, so they end up playing usually a good 6-8  minute stretch together and they look for each other quite a bit.

-Q: You’ve talked in the preseason about not chasing the wins record or streaks, but now you’re back on pace for some of that. As the talk builds, is there a small part of you that wouldn’t mind a loss here or there to relieve that pressure?

-KERR: I don’t think there’s any pressure. I think we’ve had slippage the last three games. We haven’t had played particularly well, the turnovers are up again.

And we talked to the team about that today.

I told them I don’t care honestly how many wins we get; I would like to get the 1 seed in the West, I think that’s important; so I don’t know if that’s counter-intuitive.

But to me if you focus on… we’re good enough that if we focus on the process and constantly try to improve and not cut corners, we should be in great shape by the end of the year no matter how many wins we have.

-Q: Do you care if there’s outside noise about the wins record?

-KERR: I honestly haven’t even thought about it. Hasn’t entered my mind.

I know how hard–what we accomplished last year, I know how hard that is. That’s not even anything… as an observer… as a coach I don’t care, but even as an observer, when I was in TV, every year somebody would start out like 25-3, 28-4 and the talk would be, ‘they could break the Bulls’ record.’

And I just knew from my experience in Chicago, you don’t even keep track of that stuff until after the All-Star break, because all it takes is one thing to go wrong and lose three in a row and that’s out the window.

I don’t think about it at all this year. Means nothing to me.

-Q: You obviously made the tweak to the Death Lineup this season by adding Durant. The numbers so far this season maybe aren’t so great, but do you like what you’re seeing out of that unit? Is there work to do with that lineup?

-KERR: There’s still work to do. But I love that lineup. We’ve had it in most games for a few minutes here and there. So it’s a great change of pace.

It’s not something I want to do a ton of, because it wears people down to go that small. Wears us down a little bit over the course of too many months.

I try to limit the minutes except at times when we need a little surge or maybe to close the game.

-Q: Are you looking at Shaun Livingston more with that group?

-KERR: When he’s going well, I’ll leave him out there longer. Andre doesn’t ever mind… it’s not a personal thing with Andre.

He knows if Shaun’s playing well and we’ll leave him out there for a few extra minutes instead of Andre it’s still a really good lineup for us.

-Q: What does it mean to see Durant set up a guy like Ian Clark for an end-of-period shot, shows a lot of confidence?

-KERR: Yeah, shows a lot of confidence. I was Ian in my playing career. I was a guy sometimes in the rotation, sometimes not. It always gave me great confidence when the best players showed faith in me.

I think that’s one of KD’s real strengths as a player and as a teammate–it’s believing in everybody. He wants every player to succeed.

And that was my favorite play the other night. Not only because of the play itself but the reaction afterwards. And I think it really kind of spurred us in the fourth quarter.

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