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Warriors’ Steve Kerr takes jab at Rockets while discussing importance of midrange in today’s NBA


The Houston Rockets deference to high-efficiency shots has been lauded across the league for changing the way the game is played. But coach Steve Kerr, who spearheaded the Golden State Warriors outside-in attack, noted that abusing that comes with a flaw.

Kerr’s Warriors were happy to jack up 30-plus shots from distance, which at the time was a wild margin. The Rockets took that to exorbitant levels, racking up 40 or 50 3-pointers in a game, something that played to their demise during the 2018 Western Conference Finals, as Kerr reminded:

Transcript via Drew Shiller of NBC Sports:

“It’s trending more and more every year to more shooting from every position. But the one thing I will always remember is our Game 7 in Houston a couple years ago when they missed 28 straight 3-point shots,” said Kerr in the Runnin’ Plays podcast on NBC Sports Bay Area. “Meanwhile, Kevin and Steph were hitting one mid-range pull-up after another.

“In the playoffs, the mid-range shot is the one you’re gonna get because defenses are so in tune with everything you’re trying to do. They’re gonna take away the layups, they ‘re gonna take away the 3-point shots as best they can.

“The one that’s always there is the mid-range shot. I don’t think you want to make it a steady diet — you still want to shoot a lot of 3s, you want to get to the line, you want to get layups — but it has to be a part of who you are.”

The Rockets and GM Daryl Morey extrapolated what they saw as an opportunity to innovate, but that formula has proven beatable in the playoffs, when it matters most.

Perhaps no game showcases it best than that WCF Game 7 that brought pain and ridicule to Rockets fans after they bricked shot after shot and saw their game plan go straight to the trash can against a potent Warriors team.

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