Quin Snyder drops first battle with mentor Mike Brown

Quin Snyder drops first battle with mentor Mike Brown

OAKLAND -- The teacher remains the teacher.

Warriors fill-in head coach Mike Brown is very familiar with the man sitting opposite the chess board from him in Golden State’s second round playoff matchup against the Utah Jazz. Brown hired Jazz frontman Quin Snyder as an assistant in 2011 when he was coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The two weren’t together long. The lockout wiped out all but 66 games of the 2011-12 season, but the duo spent plenty of time talking hoops during the layoff.

“It was a privilege working with him,” Snyder said. “At that point, the opportunity he gave me was one that was a terrific opportunity.”

Snyder left before the start of the 2012-13 season. Brown lasted just five games into the year before he was relieved of his duties. It was a brief moment of time, but both men spoke highly of each other before game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals game on Tuesday evening.

“He’s one of the best human beings that I’ve been around,” Snyder said of Brown. “It was a privilege and a pleasure to work for him. That year for me was a year full of growth, and it was a very rewarding year.”

Brown has been in and out of the league since their time in LA. He coached Cleveland during the 2013-14 before stepping away from the NBA for two years. He joined Steve Kerr’s staff during the summer to replace the departed Luke Walton. With Kerr ailing, Brown stepped in to run the Warriors on temporary basis.

Snyder took over the helm of the Jazz before the 2014-15 season. He’s quickly built a winner in year three, leading Utah to a 51-win season and their first playoff series win since 2010.

“He’s a great communicator, that was something that working with him, even when he was an assistant coach, you can pick up on very easily,” Brown said. “Just being around him - his demeanor’s great. Guys are drawn to him and then he knows his stuff.”

A disciple of the great Mike Krzyzewski, Snyder has his players all going the same direction. He is a players coach with a bright future ahead of him.

“Guys all seem to want to play for one another and all that usually comes from the foundation that the coach lays, especially if he’s got the right group of guys,” Brown said. “So I’ve got nothing but the utmost respect for Quin.”

The Warriors jumped all over the upstart Jazz early in the game. Snyder’s Utah team stayed close through the third quarter, but in the end, Golden State ran away with the 106-94 victory.

Brown has the advantage of coaching a team that’s made two straight Finals appearances, including an NBA Championship win in 2015. His club is favored to take home another ring this season and in the series opener, he pushed all the right buttons.

Snyder’s group is learning on the fly. They kept attacking the Warriors from start to finish, but winning a game at Oracle Arena is going to be a tall task.

Game 1 goes to the mentor. Snyder will need to be a quick study if he hopes to best Brown and avoid an early exit in Round Two.


Kerr's message to Warriors fans who want more pick-and-roll for Curry

Kerr's message to Warriors fans who want more pick-and-roll for Curry

Are you one of the people who thinks the Warriors need to put Steph Curry in more pick-and-roll/ball screen situations? 

If you are, that's OK.

Steve Kerr -- when asked about Draymond Green's role this past season -- talked about how Golden State uses Curry.

"Before the season started, I told our staff that I thought Draymond was gonna have the biggest adjustment to make," Kerr said on the TK Show on Wednesday. "And he made it really easily. And I think a big part of that is the fact that he's a point-forward at his core offensively.

"He handles the ball and he's our leading assist guy. And all of a sudden he had another shooter and another weapon to work with. And I thought that was really important that we established early that Draymond was still gonna be an integral part of the offense.

"I was worried about that -- I thought because KD was gonna need the ball and Steph already had the ball -- I was worried that Draymond would be a little left out of the offense and that would affect his overall game and his defense.

"In fact, it's one of the things -- I think important for our fans to understand -- because one of the things I get all the time is, 'Why don't you just put Steph in a screen-and-roll every play? Why don't you give him the ball every play?' And I think what people who follow our team closely understand is that the number of playmakers we have on our team is what makes us who we are ... drive and kick and passing and moving -- it keeps everybody engaged."

For the third year in a row, the Warriors ranked nearly the bottom of the league in pick-and-rolls.

Yet, that didn't stop Golden State from posting the best offensive rating (113.2) in NBA history.

It's also important to remember that following the Warriors' loss to the Cavs on Christmas Day -- when Curry scored 15 points and took just 11 shots -- Kerr acknowledged that he needs to put Curry in a better position to succeed.

[REWIND: Steph Curry 'definitely' wants Warriors to run more pick-and-roll]

"But for the people who say, 'Just give it to Steph every time and let him go,' well now you're alienating Draymond, you're alienating Andre, you're alienating Shaun. You're basically telling them to be spotup 3-point shooters," Kerr continued. "And now I think you're losing a lot emotionally from what makes the team tick, and you're taking away the energy that Draymond gets from being a playmaker and getting 8 or 10 assists.

"So that's the balance we always try to find with our group -- get everybody involved and energized."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Reports: Spurs shopping LaMarcus Aldridge

Reports: Spurs shopping LaMarcus Aldridge

It appears the LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio could be nearing its end.

The Spurs are reportedly talking to several teams about a potential trade, according to multiple reports.

In the summer of 2015, Aldridge signed a 4-year deal worth over $84 million.

He can opt out of his deal next summer.

The 5-time All-Star will turn 32 years old in July.

His 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season were his lowest totals since his rookie campaign.

In Games 2 through 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors, he averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds and shot less than 39 percent from the field.

Aldridge's former team -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- would be interested in acquiring Aldridge, according to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller