Kerr remains out as Warriors prepare to face Jazz
San Francisco (AFP) – Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr will miss his team’s second-round NBA playoff opener against Utah on Tuesday with no timetable for his return, the team announced Monday.
Kerr, who guided the Warriors to the 2015 NBA crown and within one game of a repeat last year, missed Golden State’s final two first-round games against Portland due to complications resulting from back surgery.
Suffering from nausea and pain, Kerr has no timetable for a return, leaving assistant coach Mike Brown, the former coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, to guide the Warriors into the second round best-of-seven Western Conference matchup against the Jazz, who needed the maximum to oust the Los Angeles Clippers in round one.
“The way we look at it is: Plan on him not coming back,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said.
“We’re not going to sit here and say: ‘If we can get to the conference finals, Steve may be back.’
“No. Mike Brown is our coach. We have the rest of our staff and that’s what we’re rolling with,” said Green.
The Jazz might be without reserve forward Derrick Favors, who scored 17 points in Sunday’s 104-91 victory at Los Angeles. Favors sat out practice Monday with a sore back.
The Warriors have enjoyed a week off since sweeping Portland while the Jazz had only a travel day between games.
“We prefer to keep playing,” Jazz veteran Joe Johnson said. “We have a rhythm, and we’re enjoying the moment.”
“It’s going to be a quick turnaround for us, but we’re fresh,” Jazz guard Rodney Hood said. “We have fresh legs.”