Steve Kerr on Nikola Mirotic’s presence for the Pelicans
In the second round of the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors are set to face the New Orleans Pelicans. Head coach Steve Kerr is diligently sketching out his game plan. And his discovery is that Nikola Mirotic will be one heck of a problem.
As reported by Melissa Rohlin of The Mercury News, Kerr said:
“We pretty much threw out all three game tapes prior to Mirotić’s arrival,” Kerr said. “Those don’t mean anything to us. Once he arrived, the whole team looked different.”
Kerr was probably referring to the season series with the Pelicans. The two battled four times in the regular season, the Warriors taking the three games.
It should be noted, however, that the Warriors won those games in October, November, and December of 2017. The one they lost was in April — when Mirotic was already with the Pelicans.
In February this season, Mirotic was traded, along with a 2018 second-round pick, to the Pelicans in exchange for Ömer Aşık, Tony Allen, Jameer Nelson, a 2018 first-round pick, and the right to swap 2021 second round picks with the Pelicans.
He’s been a revelation ever since donning that Pelicans jersey. The 6’10” power forward has the ability to stretch the floor given his 3-point shooting ability, leaving ample space for either Anthony Davis or Rajon Rondo to operate.
In the playoffs so far, Mirotic is logging in 18.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks, all under 37.3 minutes per game.
Mirotic knows the impact he brings when he steps foot on the court. As per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the 27-year-old said:
“I’ve been feeling very confident in myself,” Mirotic said. “We’ve been having great chemistry. And I think I’ve fit in great with this fun type of basketball we want to play, especially with Rondo — running, finding each other in transition. Everybody, Jrue Holiday, makes my game easier. People are noticing us now.”