Warriors get permission to talk with Lakers' Shaw

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Warriors get permission to talk with Lakers' Shaw

May 12, 2011STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEOMatt SteinmetzCSNBayArea.com

The Warriors have officially reached out to Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw about their head coaching opening, CSN Bay Area has learned.According to two league sources, the Warriors called Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak earlier this week and asked for permission to talk to Shaw, the lead assistant to Phil Jackson.Shaw, an Oakland native, is considered a leading candidate to succeed Jackson, who retired this week after the Lakers were swept in the Western Conference semifinals by Dallas.
At the same time, the Lakers' front office has indicated it will interview other candidates, too. Shaw is under contract with the Lakers until June 30, but they have given him the OK to interview with other NBA teams.Shaw interviewed last offseason with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but decided to return to the Lakers. He also interviewed for the Chicago Bulls' heading coaching position in 2008, a job that went to Vinny Del Negro.Shaw is considered among the best of an assistant coaching crop that also includes: San Antonio's Mike Budenholzer, Dallas' Dwane Casey, Boston's Lawrence Frank and New Orleans' Mike Malone.Shaw, who played 14 seasons and helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, would seem to have opportunity to become a head coach for the first time in his career. The Lakers, Warriors, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers all have vacancies.In addition, it's possible jobs could also open up in Minnesota, Detroit and maybe even Toronto. The Rockets are said to be down to three finalists for their position, none of whom are Shaw but all of whom are former head coaches. Still, Rick Adelman's old job hasn't been filled.It's likely the Pacers would have interest in Shaw. Indiana president of basketball operations Larry Bird has not yet decided to rehire interim coach Frank Vogel and is reportedly also interested in former Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown and current Dallas assistant Dwane Casey.Bird and Shaw have a history. They played together for three seasons in Boston in the late 1980s and early 1990s.That the Warriors would bring in Shaw for an interview is a virtual no-brainer. Shaw grew up in Oakland and played high school basketball at Bishop O'Dowd before attending St. Mary's for two years.He played for the Warriors and still has a house in the Oakland Hills. He has indicated in the past he would relish an opportunity to coach the Warriors and help turn his hometown franchise around.Shaw is the third known candidate to draw interest from the Warriors. ESPN reported on Tuesday that Brown and Casey were going to be among the first to interview with Golden State.It is unclear whether the Warriors have spoken to Shaw yet or set up an interview. The Warriors had no comment and have said they will not comment on any aspect of the coaching search.Calls to Shaw's cellphone were not returned.The Warriors decided not to pick up Keith Smart's option for the 2011-12 season on April 27. At that time, Warriors owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley said they would be deliberate in their search for a new coach.They also were non-specific regarding the type of coach they were looking for, saying it would be desirable to have coach with experience and yet they are also open to a current assistant getting a shot at a head job.Lacob and Riley also said that they wanted a coach who was committed to more of a defensive approach, but that it likely wouldn't be someone whose main attribute is mostly that.Riley also has said that his preference would be to maintain an uptempo style.In other words, the Warriors have a pretty big umbrella.In the days after the decision to make a change at coach, the Warriors were said to be gauging the interest of former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and perhaps former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy.It is unknown whether the Warriors have contacted either of those two or whether they would have interest in the first place.Among the top assistants, Budenholzer told reporters last Friday he was keeping his name out of any coaching search and that for now he wants to stay in San Antonio. Casey, whose Mavericks are in between series right now, is a candidate throughout the league.As for Frank, the Celtics were eliminated on Wednesday so he likely already has gotten a call or two or is likely to soon. Steve Kauffman, the agent for Malone, wouldn't acknowledge whether his client had been contacted for available jobs or not.

Warriors complete Phase 1 in preparation for trilogy Finals vs Cavs

Warriors complete Phase 1 in preparation for trilogy Finals vs Cavs

OAKLAND -- The Warriors studied video and practiced for nearly two hours Saturday, completing Phase 1 of the plan they’ll take into the NBA Finals.

Everybody on the roster is healthy, including starting center Zaza Pachulia, who missed Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals with a heel contusion, and seldom-used forward Kevon Looney, out for seven weeks with a hip strain.

“We had a great film session with the team, a great discussion with the team and put our keys up on the board for our guys and went over that stuff with them before practice,” acting head coach Mike Brown said after practice.

Defending Cavaliers star LeBron James surely was among the topics to generate considerable dialogue. It provides some relief that Andre Iguodala says he feels fine after battling knee soreness in the Western Conference Finals.

It was Iguodala, after all, who earned the NBA Finals MVP award after doing such a fine job as a primary defender of James in 2015. It’s an altogether different test now that the Cavs are healthy and have a surplus of shooters surrounding James.

“You still try to watch film, any new sets or anything that they try to implement for their team, because he’s the type of player that is so dynamic he can hurt you in different ways, especially with his passing ability,” Iguodala said.

When facing elite scorers, the Warriors typically vary their defensive looks. In addition to Iguodala, James will see some Kevin Durant, some Draymond Green and probably some Matt Barnes.

Nearly as important as Iguodala’s health is that of Pachulia. Though Cleveland is more willing to go small than in the past, there will be times when a big body, such as Pachulia, will be needed to keep Cavs big man Tristan Thompson off the glass.

Thompson had five of Cleveland’s 18 offensive rebounds last Christmas Day, when the Cavaliers came back for a 109-108 victory over the Warriors in Cleveland. The Warriors lost the rebounding battle by nine (60-51).

When the teams met three weeks later in Oakland, the Warriors pulled off a 126-91 rout largely on the strength of outrebounding Cleveland 58-35. Thompson had two offensive rebounds and five overall, while Pachulia gobbled up 13 rebounds -- 10 on the defensive glass.

The Cavs outscored the Warriors 17-8 in second-chance points in the first game, but the teams tied, 12-12, in that category in the rematch.

“It’s part of their strength,” Pachulia said. “Second-chance points are a killer. It’s something we have to take away. That’s one of the keys for us.”

 

Klay's next assignment: Slow down Kyrie...and he's got a gameplan

Klay's next assignment: Slow down Kyrie...and he's got a gameplan

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson spent nearly eight minutes Saturday answering a variety of questions, many of which were related to his diminished offense this postseason and his primary defensive assignment in the upcoming NBA Finals.

Mired in a shooting slump, by his standards, the Warriors guard now has to confront the fabulous offensive arsenal of Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.

As much as Thompson would love to rediscover his shooting touch in Game 1 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena, the Warriors may be more delighted if he can prevent Irving from finding his.

“I take pride in (playing) both sides of the ball, defense as equally as offense,” Thompson said after practice at the team’s downtown facility. “Whether or not my shot falls, I can always control that part of the game.”

The Warriors are undefeated (12-0) this postseason despite Thompson averaging only 14.4 points (compared to 22.3 in the regular season) on 38.3-percent shooting from the field (46.8 in the regular season), 36.4 percent beyond the arc (41.4 in the regular season).

That spotless postseason record is, in part, a reflection of Thompson’s work on defense. In all three rounds, he has guarded the opponent’s most dangerous backcourt player.

“I couldn’t be happier with how he’s helped us win games,” acting head coach Mike Brown said.

Next up for Thompson is Irving, who has hit game-winning shots in each of the last two times Cleveland has beaten the Warriors, a 3-pointer in Game 7 of the 2015 Finals and a midrange fadeaway jumper last Christmas Day at Quicken Loans Arena.

Irving has played well this postseason but lately has lifted his game to another level. In the five-game Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, Irving averaged 25.8 points per game, while shooting 62.2 percent.

He was particularly dazzling as the Cavs finished off the Celtics in Games 4 and 5, averaging 33.0 points on 64.9-percent shooting.

Irving’s recent run prompted Cleveland teammate LeBron James to label him one of the best one-on-one players of all time, a compliment Brown did not argue.

“There are a lot of guys that can shoot the 3, but that’s all they can do,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that can dribble drive and finish at the rim, but that’s all they can do. Here’s a guy that can shoot the 3 off the catch-and-shoot, he could shoot the 3 off the dribble. He has medium-game pull-up. He has medium-game floater. And then he can get to the rim. And when he gets to the rim, he can finish in traffic among 7-footers.

“The way he puts English on the ball, how high he gets it off the glass when he needs to, all those things play into a factor of why he is one of the greatest one-on-one players of all time.”

Thompson said Irving’s offense “easily” belongs in the discussion with the league’s best, a group including the likes of MVP candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, as well as Thompson’s teammate, reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

“He’s done it in big moments, so you’ve got to give him credit,” Thompson said of Irving. “Not only have I seen him do it in the pros, but I’ve seen him do it with the USA Team, too. Kyrie’s a very tough guard. We’ve got a game plan for him, and it’ll be fun.”

Thompson said he will try to crowd Irving, contest every shot and not be outhustled. Still, he concedes that may not be enough.

There is, however, one other thing Thompson cited that could impact Irving’s offensive production. Make him work on defense, something both Warriors guards have the ability to do.

For Thompson, that means finding his stroke.

“I’d like to see the ball go in the basket,” he said. “It has, just not as frequently as I want. But that means nothing now. That’s in the past. It wouldn’t have mattered if I shot lights-out if we didn’t finish the job off.

“Now that we’re here, it’s a clean slate. It’s time to go. Can’t be worried about a few bad shooting games or the percentages when you went 12-0. You’ve just got to do what you can and have the intentions to win the game, not to go out there and score a number of points but to just go out there and win the game and make winning plays. That’s what I’m focused on.”