Warriors may come to regret trading Udoh

711550.jpg

Warriors may come to regret trading Udoh

Im beginning to think the Warriors are going to regrettrading power forward Ekpe Udoh.Thats not to say that the Warriors shouldnt have made thetrade for Bucks center Andrew Bogut, but it seems apparent theyre going tomiss Udoh moving forward. And Im not just talking about the rest of this year,Im talking about for the rest of Udohs career.Monta Ellis was a tough player to let go in that trade. Questionis, was there any way the Warriors could have held onto Udoh? Was there anotherdeal there that could have been made?
Probably. The Bucks would have taken Klay Thompson.This isnt to say Udoh is going to be a star in the NBA, buthes looking more and more like someone who will become an important piece on avery good team.Udoh is an acquired taste, and one Warriors coach MarkJackson never seemed to appreciate fully. Udoh blocks shots and defendsconsistently, and his offensive game continues to trend upward.After the Celtics-Bucks game on Thursday night, Milwaukeecoach Scott Skiles had this to say: The only really good defensive minutes wehad was when Ekpe was in the game. He was plugging everything up, doing what hedoes. Other than that, we really struggled.The point is every team and the Warriors most especially can use a player such as Udoh. Hes a dirty-work player, but with talent and asemblance of an offensive game.There just seems to be a disconnect in terms of the Warriorsemphasizing defense and then trading away their best interior defensive player.In other words, if defense is priority No. 1, why would you include Udoh in thedeal?Udoh was never really used correctly while he was at GoldenState. Under Keith Smart a year ago, Udoh was discouraged from taking thatface-up 17- or 18-footer, and yet thats what he did at Baylor.Under Jackson, Udoh was primarily used in post-upsituations. Hes not bad at that aspect of the game, but Udoh is not someoneyou want to force-feed consistently down there.I see Udoh as a player who could possibly start on achampionship level team, provided they have enough scorers. Every team contenders and non-contenders alike seek out players such as Udoh.The rap, of course, on Udoh with the Warriors was that he didnt rebound.Thats why his 10 rebounds in 21 minutes last night for the Bucks is sotroubling. If he turns into a consistent rebounder, chances are hell turn intoan NBA starter.The interesting thing about Udoh with the Warriors was thatwhen he played the team rebounded better. Since hes gone, the Warriors havebeen consistently manhandled inside.Some say the Warriors had to trade Ellis, that it had to bedone. But when the Warriors included Udoh in the deal, then the move becamelopsided in favor of the Bucks.Udoh is getting better and better. Hes a certain rotationplayer and now its just a matter of whether hes a starter or not. For Warriors fans, Ellis was hardenough to move. That Udoh went with him only makes it worse.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr out indefinitely with chronic pain

PORTLAND -- Still suffering with chronic pain after multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will step away from his duties for an indefinite period.

Kerr made the announcement Sunday afternoon, one day after he was unable to attend Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center. He conceded the possibility he could miss the rest of the postseason.

“This past week for whatever reason, things got worse,” Kerr said from the team hotel. “My symptoms got worse. And I was not able to coach. The last few days have been difficult.

“With things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn’t coach. As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors. I’m hoping for some improvement. If I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”

Assistant coach Mike Brown, a three-time NBA head coach who guided the Warriors to a 119-113 comeback win in Game 3, will serve as acting head coach during Kerr’s absence and will be on the sideline for Game 4 Monday night.

No matter what happens, Kerr said, he plans to assist in game preparation and remain involved with players and staff for the duration of the postseason.

“At this point in the season, we all have a feel for our team,” Kerr said. “Early in the season, it probably wouldn’t have been that way. It’s great that we’ve had the year together. It’s great that Mike has coached in this league 10 years and has coached in The Finals. He knows what he’s doing. The team is in great hands regardless.”

While spending Game 3 at the team hotel Saturday watching the game with his son, Nick, Kerr pointed out that some of the substitutions he thought should be made were, in fact, made seconds after crossing his mind.

Kerr said he did feel somewhat better Sunday than he did on Friday and Saturday.

Kerr has been coping with severe side effects since the summer of 2015. Though he has said his back was improved by the surgeries, a spinal leak has resulted in frequent headaches and neck pain.

Two days into training camp in September, barely a month after his second surgery in seven weeks, he took an indefinite leave of absence, returning Jan. 22, 2016 and coaching the final 39 regular-season games as well as the postseason.

But after laboring through 2016 training camp and the regular season -- often wearing a pain patch on the back of his neck -- the chronic anguish never went away, being by turns uncomfortable and excruciating. Kerr made it through only the first two games of the postseason.

He clearly was in discomfort during Game 2 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena and felt no better after an off-day Thursday. During his post-practice news conference Friday, before the team flight from Oakland to Portland, Kerr constantly shifted his body and grabbed his head.

Kerr was unable join the team for shootaround Saturday morning, and four hours later the Warriors announced Kerr would not attend Game 3.

“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said. “I’m not going to do that to our team, to our staff.

“We’re hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, I can sort of make a definitive realization or deduction, or just feel it, that I’m going to do this or not.”

Kerr has tried various pain-killing drugs, as well as medicinal marijuana, in hopes of alleviating his chronic pain. Nothing so far has provided consistent relief, and some medications that have helped were offset by nausea and other side effects.

Kerr is in the third year of a five-year contract signed in May 2014. His 207-39 regular-season record is the best in NBA history by any coach over a three-year span.

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Blazers big man Nurkic ruled out for Game 4 vs Warriors

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers Game 4 coverage starts Monday night at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

The Warriors hold a 3-0 lead in their first-round playoff series with the Blazers after Saturday's 119-113 win. 

For the first time this series, the Warriors went up against Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who returned from a leg fracture. Nurkic started and played a total of 16:40 in Game 3. 

In his return, the "Bosnian Beast" was a non-factor on offense. He only scored two points, but did grab 11 rebounds. And his return was even shorter than expected. 

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts ruled Nurkic out for Game 4. 

Nurkic averaged 15.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game in 20 games for the Blazers after Portland acquired him in a trade with the Nuggets.