Draymond puts on coaching cap, holds all Warriors accountable

Draymond puts on coaching cap, holds all Warriors accountable

OAKLAND -- Draymond Green spared no one, including himself, in a searing dissection of the collapse Friday night that resulted in the Warriors eating a 128-119 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

From coach Steve Kerr to reigning MVP Stephen Curry to two-time All-Star Klay Thompson to seven-time All-Star Kevin Durant to Green himself, words were not minced.

“If you look at the fourth quarter, Klay is standing,” Green began. “It’s not Klay’s fault; it’s our fault. It’s Steve’s fault. It’s my fault as a leader on the floor, as a floor general. It’s Steph’s fault as a floor general, to get us in place, to get everybody moving. So it’s not like it’s one guy’s fault. This is a team effort; we win together, we lose together. And as floor generals, people who initiate the offense, we’ve got to know that. We have to understand that he’s one of our most dangerous weapons.

“Yet in the fourth quarter, (Thompson) is not even a weapon. If you just having him standing there, then no one’s going to leave his body. So if he’s just standing there, he’s doing us no good.”

Understand, the Warriors blew a 24-point third quarter lead. They were outscored 49-21 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Defense came and went. Diagrammed offensive plays were poorly executed. There was a level of self-immolation that should be beyond the team favored to win the NBA championship.

There was Green, in an animated discussion with Durant, beseeching his teammate to stay with what was working earlier, the things that helped them build what should have been a comfortable lead.

Green put on his coach’s cap and, in essence, pointed out things he believes everyone can and will see.

“That’s something we have to understand as guys who are handling the basketball,” Green said. “And our coaching staff has to understand that, as sometimes who’s calling the plays out of timeouts, it’s a complete group effort.

“As long as we continue to do things as a group, which we will, I’m not worried about it at all. We’ll be fine. But those are the things we have to notice. And make sure we correct if we want to be great.”

He said that, in a way, he was “thrilled” that the Warriors lost because defeat gets the attention of everyone and should promote improvement.

“It’s not about 73 wins,” he said, referring to last season’s record total. “It’s not about making the All-Star Game or All-NBA. It’s about getting better each and every time you step on the floor. And if you’re not, someone else is.

“I don’t matter who starts the season off the best. It’s who is the best at the end. It’s a process. You can’t skip the process. You have to embrace every moment of that process.”

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”