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#pounditWednesday, August 17, 2022

Steve Kerr admits to making 1 big coaching mistake in Finals

Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Kerr is calling someone out in the middle of the NBA Finals … himself.

Kerr’s Golden State Warriors got a massive victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 on Friday to even the series at two games apiece. After the game, the Warriors coach Kerr admitted to making a big mistake earlier in the Finals — not giving Kevon Looney enough playing time.

“He’s irreplaceable for us,” said Kerr of Looney, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. “He’s played in every game, and he’s a guy we count on. I didn’t play him enough in Game 3. That was my mistake.”

The big man Looney was sublime in Game 4, playing 28 total minutes and putting up six points (include a clutch basket in the final minute to give the Warriors a five-point lead) and 11 rebounds. He was also had a game-high plus-minus of +21. That was a big difference from Game 3 where Looney played just 17 minutes in Golden State’s 116-100 loss.

Looney is a real X-factor in the matchup against the Celtics. He defends the paint nicely, is both long and savvy enough to survive on the perimeter off switches, and helps neutralize Boston’s offensive rebounding as a big body boxing out Robert Williams and Al Horford.

Already in his fifth Finals with the Warriors, Looney has gotten 21.0 minutes per game in Golden State’s two losses, and 24.5 minutes a game in their two wins (though the latter number is actually deflated because the Warriors pulled their rotation guys early in their blowout Game 2 victory). Overall, Looney is a magnificent +36 in the series so far and has also brought the jokes throughout the playoffs. That sounds like a man that Kerr indeed needs to prioritize getting as many minutes as possible for.

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