Cook is point guard with Curry injured
his second straight game Saturday with a sprained right foot and toe, but Kerr is optimistic Green will be available Monday against the Clippers in Los Angeles. Shaun Livingston played some 3-on-3 after practice Friday as he recovers from a sore right foot that has sidelined him two weeks.
With both Curry and Livingston out, Quinn Cook will start at point guard against Brooklyn. It helps that Cook — who was waived four times and signed three 10-day contracts before carving out his niche with Golden State last season — knows how to stay ready. After sitting back-toback games, he posted a combined 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists this week against Memphis and Milwaukee.
A solid three-point shooter who seldom gets frazzled, Cook recognizes how Golden State’s offense must change without Curry in the lineup.
When rolling their system through Curry, the Warriors subsist on chaos, running few plays as they move off screens and let Curry’s mere presence open up the floor. With Cook initiating the offense, Kerr calls more sets, slows the pace and lets his All-Stars focus on exploiting mismatches.
With Curry forced to miss 16 of Golden State’s final 17 regular-season games last season with ankle and knee injuries, Cook thrived as the fill-in starter, averaging 15.8 points in those games Curry sat.
“You’ve always just got to work, come in early and stay late, stay engaged,” Cook said. “Just learning from these vets. Just seeing these vets prepare themselves every day. You can only get better.”
Instead of punishing his players during Friday’s practice for their most lackadaisical performance of the season, Kerr highlighted some of their mistakes during video review, walked them through a few situations and called it a day.
“If this were 1956, they would’ve been running sprints all day,” Kerr said.
Kerr has been around the NBA long enough to recognize that even rosters flush with All-Stars aren’t immune from the occasional dud. After watching his team cruise to the Western Conference’s best record at 10-1, he didn’t panic when it looked out of sorts defensively against one of the league’s best teams.
“Eighty-two games, there are nights when you let your guard down. The important thing in this league is you can’t let your guard down multiple times in a row,” Kerr said. “Now it’s up to us to be the aggressor, to be a step ahead defensively, making our rotations, boxing out — all the things that we didn’t do last night.”
In his 15th NBA season, Andre Iguodala is amused by how NBA fans — especially those who root for the Warriors — often overreact to losses. A game in November has almost no influence on how a team plays come April, May and June.
What matters most for Golden State is staying healthy for the postseason. With Curry and Green expected to return to the court soon, the Warriors can stomach a 23-point beat-down by Milwaukee at home.
“Sometimes we’ve spoiled a lot of people,” Iguodala said. “We don’t lose often, but it’s going to happen in the NBA from time to time. We’ll fix it. Sometimes it brings the hunger back, so it can be good for you.”
Stephen Curry will be out for multiple games, though his injury is considered minor.