The reigning coach of the year sat in for the presiding coach of the month when Steve Kerr ran the Golden State Warriors’ practice while Luke Walton was sick, according to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press:
Kerr ran practice Tuesday with interim coach Luke Walton out with an illness. Kerr has been out since training camp as he deals with complications from back surgery he had in the offseason.
“I felt pretty good but I’m not 100 percent health-wise,” Kerr said. “But I’m getting better, building some strength. Today was a good day.”
While there was some speculation that Kerr could be back to manning the bench in the near future, Kerr says there is no timeline, but he is getting closer.
“I’m confident I’ll be back on the bench,” Kerr said. “I wouldn’t be here talking to you if I didn’t. I wouldn’t have been here the last nine days or whatever it’s been. Things are moving in the right direction.”
Per Dubow, “Kerr has been dealing with headaches after two back surgeries – the first procedure causing him to leak spinal fluid – that followed Golden State’s first championship in 40 years. He took a leave of absence the first week of training camp and watched the Warriors’ record 24-0 start behind the scenes.”
Kerr is the head coach, and while the team has won in his absence, it might be starting to miss him. As Today’s Fastbreak, Michael Erler observed:
Their defense has slipped just enough, from the vice-like unit it was last year to one that has lapses nearly every game and only turns up the intensity when it absolutely has to. Their turnover percentage has climbed, from 14.4 percent last year, good for 12th in the league (which was perfectly acceptable for a squad who led everybody in passes made) to 15.7 percent this season, which ranks 23rd. The Dubs’ margin of victory has sunk from 16.7 points in October to 15.1 in November to 8.1 in December. They’re allowing opponents to take and make more threes this month, and their own accuracy from downtown has slipped to the land of mortals. Perhaps most damning of all, the Warriors are surrendering 108.9 this month, which is just far too much for any contender no matter how prolific their offense is.
Eventually, the Warriros will need their head coach, so it’s good to see him progressing.