Cook is point guard with Curry in­jured

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS - Con­nor Le­tourneau is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: cle­tourneau@ sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @Con_Chron

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.”

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Stephen Curry will be out for mul­ti­ple games, though his in­jury is con­sid­ered mi­nor.

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