Welcome back, Kerr
Golden State coach Steve Kerr returned to the bench for Friday’s home victory over Indiana, coming back to a team that went 39-4 under interim coach Luke Walton while Kerr healed from two summertime back surgeries.
Walton was the Western Conference’s Coach of the Month in November on his team’s way to a league-record 24-0 start, but NBA rules say the victories and losses are attributed to Kerr, whose lifetime record now officially is 106-19.
“Great coaching,” Kerr told reporters after watching Steph Curry make two shots from midcourt — one that counted, one that didn’t — while scoring 39 points.
To hack with that
Calls for rule changes concerning that Hack-a-Whoever strategy will resound after this last week when Houston sent Detroit center Andre Drummond to the free-throw line 36 times and Cleveland sent the L.A. Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan there 15 times.
Drummond made just 13 of those 36 Wednesday, Jordan made six on Thursday. The Pistons won 123-114, the Clippers lost 115-102.
“I admit I did say I didn’t like it,” then-Cavaliers coach David Blatt told reporters, “but those are the rules and we felt we could use the rules to our advantage.”
In good hands
Kawhi Leonard entered the NBA in 2011 most noted for his enormous hands. Now the San Antonio forward probably is the league’s best two-way player.
“The way he handles the basketball, it’s like an orange,” TNT analyst Reggie Miller said. “His hands and broad shoulders … he’s bigger than he looks. He’s a big 6-8. Magic [Johnson], [Larry] Bird, they were a big 6-9.”