Mike Brown takes notice after McCaw puts on display in replacing Iguodala

Mike Brown takes notice after McCaw puts on display in replacing Iguodala

OAKLAND -- The veterans among the Warriors have spent much of this season imploring Pat McCaw to fully unveil, to bring to games what he so often brings to practices, and the rookie guard/forward met that request Tuesday night.

With Andre Iguodala sidelined with soreness in his left knee, acting head coach Mike Brown, following the recommendation of ailing head coach Steve Kerr, turned to McCaw to fill some of the vacuum in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs.

“Steve suggested that we put Patty in Andre's place and it made sense, especially with (Spurs star forward Kawhi Leonard) not playing tonight,” Brown said. “And he stepped up and had a big game for us.”

McCaw delivered a line very much like one that might be submitted by Iguodala: a career postseason-high 18 points, five assists, three steals and three rebounds in 27 minutes. He was plus-19 as the Warriors rolled to a 136-100 win.

“He was amazing,” Stephen Curry said. “Obviously with Andre out, it was the next-man-up philosophy. Everybody says it. But when you have a guy like Pat who doesn't really know when his minutes are going to come, he always stays ready.”

McCaw has been the plug-in man for much of the season, starting at various times for Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant, whose calf injury influenced Brown/Kerr to play McCaw over four games in the first round against Portland.

With Durant back for the conference semifinals against Utah, another four-game sweep by the Warriors, McCaw played a total of nine minutes and never left the bench in Game 3.

He also didn’t leave the bench Saturday in Game 1 against the Spurs.

So the Spurs could not have known what was coming when McCaw entered with 5:06 left in the first quarter, about when Iguodala typically enters. McCaw neither shot nor scored in that quarter, but began making an offensive impact in the second quarter, hitting his first shot, a 3-pointer, and then his second, driving to the rim.

“We've all seen him shoot in practice,” Brown said. “He can shoot the ball, especially if you're going to give him time like that. He can do a lot of things offensively. Yeah, when he first came into the game, he passed a couple of shots, and I just don't think he realized that he was going to be that wide open.”

McCaw was 6-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep, and the 21-year-old product of UNLV made all three of his free throws.

“The biggest thing for him was his aggressiveness,” Curry said. “If you get an open shot, take it. Make or miss, that's a good shot for us. Understanding the moment, when he gets the ball in his hands, just, you know, make the right decision, be aggressive, like I said, and try to make things happen.

“So he did that all game, and that was huge a huge pickup for us, obviously, with Andre out. And he'll probably get a lot more minutes down the stretch of this series, and he hopefully can continue to do the same.”

McCaw has been something of a project for Iguodala, who sees some of himself in the rookie. The two often spend extra time after practice working out together.

“I take bits and pieces from everybody’s game,” McCaw said. “So I take it as a compliment being compared to Andre. I take stuff from Andre, I take stuff from Klay and I take stuff from Draymond (Green).

“All the players on our team, I try to contribute to my own game.”

McCaw never looked better than on Tuesday night, when he came out of the shadows to light the Spurs.

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

LeBron: Chasing Jordan 'my personal goal to keep me motivated'

BOSTON -- LeBron James says his chase of Michael Jordan's accomplishments is simply personal motivation. It's not about wanting to establish himself as the NBA's greatest player.

James spoke Thursday during the morning shootaround before the Cavaliers play the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.

If the Cavaliers advance, James would be making a seventh consecutive trip to the NBA Finals.

He said his goal is not about passing Jordan in titles, points or MVP awards. James is 28 points shy of overtaking Jordan as the postseason's leading scorer. With 40 more points, James could also become the first player in NBA history to score 6,000 points in the playoffs.

But the Cavaliers superstar says his pursuit is about leaving a legacy to motivate the next generation of players.

"It's just my personal goal to keep me motivated, that's all," James said. "You guys are gonna have the conversations about who's the greatest of all time and things of that nature, it doesn't matter to me."

He also said he believes that the greatness conversation is discussed more often in the NBA than in other sports.

"It's never talked about (in the) NFL, who's the greatest quarterback. It's just like (Dan) Marino, (John) Elway, (Peyton) Manning, (Tom) Brady - all great quarterbacks. It should be the same for us," James said. "We go out and just try to be as great as we can be every night.

"The comparison of always trying to compare people, either living or still playing or not playing - I think it's great for barbershops."