Steve Kerr explains surprise decision to start Kevon Looney
In their game against the Phoenix Suns, Kevon Looney suited up as a starter for the Golden State Warriors. It was definitely as a surprise, as head coach Steve Kerr has always turned to Zaza Pachulia or JaVale McGee for the starting center spot. But Kerr offered a valid explanation.
As reported by Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Kerr was simply juggling his roster, experimenting which lineups could work. He also noticed that the Suns were starting out small and Looney, who has been his go-to guy for such line-ups, was the perfect player to insert.
Steve Kerr said he started Kevon Looney because he wanted to get a look at him with that group: "We're going to need all our centers. Every guy will play a role for us in the playoffs." pic.twitter.com/en4VoyxHXc
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 2, 2018
End-game statistics reveal that Looney played 24 minutes. He scored five points on 2-of-5 shooting and snagged four rebounds. He also went 1-of-2 from the line. His net rating was +10. More importantly, the Warriors came off with the win, 107-117. For the season, Looney is logging in 3.7 points a game and 3.1 rebounds all under 13 minutes a night.
Kerr, in fact, has spoken highly about Looney before; via the Tolbert&Lund Podcast, he said:
“I mean Looney has really developed here over the course of the year but particularly this last week. He’s shooting the jumper with confidence, he’s handling the ball. He looks like a different guy now, and Quinn Cook obviously gaining the confidence that comes with multiple starts, not just a random start.”
It seems that Kerr will be shuffling his line-ups in the next few games. They will be defending their title come playoff time. They will likely face the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. By then, hopefully, Kerr has figured out which line-up will work.