Warriors consultant Jerry West joined John Lund and me on 95.7-The Game on Thursday and went into depth on the current Warriors team and more. The Warriors are 42-9 at the All-Star break, but listening to West you might not know it sometimes. West said he almost turned off the end of the team’s last game, he was so peeved.
You can listen to entire interview here: http://bit.ly/1KRV7O1
West is a well-know worrywart, and he’s never shy about talking about how a team can get better. So despite the Warriors’ success through 50-plus games, he believes they still have work to do. West did the interview a day after the Warriors defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, holding on late after having a big lead.
Here’s some of what West said:
*** On what the Warriors’ weaknesses are, if any, and the challenges to overcome:
“If you’ve watched us of late, we’ve been unbelievably lackadaisical against teams, where we get big leads and squander leads and it has to do with concentration and, more important, intelligent play. Sometimes we just shoot shots that aren’t desirable to put you in a position to play defense — a lot of quick shots, a lot of long shots. A lot of times you won’t have, with the way we’ve played, a chance to get back defensively. When we get back defensively and get set, we’re a very good defensive team. I think that’s our foundation as a team: Our ability to make it difficult for a team to get good shots. But when we take a lot of quick shots, that allows the court to be spread, that’s when other teams are going to have success.
“Once you get into the playoffs, it’s a completely different game. I would be concerned with our team because, No. 1, we need to be healthy. And the strength of our team is our backcourt. No question about that from an offensive perspective. Those guys are going to get challenged every night in the playoffs. Teams are going to try to take Curry and Thompson out of the game in terms of doubling them all over the place. That’s when it’s important that the other players on the team respond in a positive manner.
“If you watch us play, when we’re at our best we’re passing the ball. And when we’re at our worst — watching the last part of the game last night there were way too many quick shots taken. And they’re taken by players you think are going to make them, but if they don’t make them it makes it very difficult to play defense. We almost gave another game away last night because of a lot of ill-advised shots that probably come because of the confidence of those players.”
***On whether he’d consider returning to the Lakers, to try to turn that franchise back around, if asked:
“First of all I wouldn’t be asked to go back there, OK. That would not happen. It just wouldn’t happen, Trust me.”
***On his passion for the game:
“My passion is about winning. Frankly I watched our game last night and I’m saying to myself, I can’t watch this stuff anymore. OK, because it’s a game that looked like we had in hand. Like I mentioned A lot of ill-advised shots, a lot of careless turnovers almost cost us a game that we had control of. As I say, I do have great passion for it, make notes about everything.”
***On the Warriors not getting to the foul line as much as their opponents:
“I think an awful lot of it is shot selection, to be honest with you. Some of these quick shots, you’re not going to get fouled. They look good when they go in. Again if I had any criticism of this team it’s their unbelievable ability to think they can make all these shots.
“We need more people to attack the basket instead of shooting jump shots all day. It’s an easier game to play, particularly defensively, when you’re set all the time instead of when you have people running at you off missed long shots. Missed long shots produce more easy baskets than shots within an offense. It just makes it easier to play defense when you get to the free-throw line.”