Warriors fans should thank assistant Nick U’Ren for the team’s Game 4 adjustments

download (33)As many of you saw on Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors made a couple of adjustments that helped them dominate the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The biggest adjustment the Warriors made was removing center Andrew Bogut from the starting lineup and replaced him with Andre Iguodala. While head coach Steve Kerr got a lot of praise for the move, he actually wasn’t the one who came up with the idea. Kerr told the media that Nick U’Ren, who is a special assistant is the one who came up with the idea.


“He’s behind the bench, he’s 28 years old, he’s a kid,” Kerr said. “We have a staff that is very cooperative. Whoever has the idea, it doesn’t matter. And he brought me the idea.”

Kerr likes to incorporate some principles from his old team, the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, and uses many of them with Golden State. With that in mind, U’Ren began watching film of the Spurs from last season’s NBA Finals to try to come up with an idea to help Kerr.

The Spurs split the first two games against James and the Miami Heat in last year’s Finals. But after starting versatile forward Boris Diaw instead of center Tiago Splitter in Game 3, the Spurs generated more ball movement, a 71-point first half and a 111-92 victory. San Antonio won the final three games while scoring an average of 107.3 points to win the championship.

U’Ren and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton have privately been fans of using a small lineup. U’Ren first brought the idea of the lineup change to Kerr after a team dinner after the Game 3 loss.

“I went and brought it up at dinner to mixed reviews, which is fine and totally normal,” U’Ren said.

“I just explained that they started Diaw instead of Splitter and starting Andre is something to consider,” U’Ren said. “We wanted to tell him in time to watch the film for himself and make the decision.”


Obviously, it worked and now the Cavaliers have to adjust to this lineup if they want to win a championship.



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