WASHINGTON — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is doubtful his team will get four players voted into next month’s All-Star Game in Charlotte.
“I doubt it,” Kerr said prior to Thursday’s game against the Washington Wizards. “I don’t think so, to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s been that kind of a season. It’s been rocky, at least until the last few weeks. I think the way Draymond [Green] has played over the last three weeks, for sure, he’s been playing at an All-Star level. And he would be the first to tell you he was not playing at an All-Star level for the first couple months. So my guess is he won’t make. But who knows? We’ll see what happens. The way he’s playing now, he’s one of the best players in the league, that’s the main thing, and we’re winning games. We’re going along pretty smoothly, so hopefully we can continue that.”
The last two years, Warriors stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Green made the team, but after slow starts from both Thompson and Green this season, it remains uncertain whether either player will make it this time around.
Curry and Durant were announced as starters from the Western Conference pool on Thursday night. And with Golden State at 33-14 going into Thursday’s game, Kerr is set to once again be the coach of one group of All-Stars if the Warriors stay in first place in the West prior to the break.
Kerr said that while the process is always difficult once voters get to the end of the roster, identifying the top-of-the-line All-Stars is pretty easy.
“I think it’s fairly obvious,” Kerr said. “When you see an All-Star, you kind of know it. You know James Harden‘s an All-Star, you know he’s going to start. You know Steph Curry should start. What gets difficult is when you’re picking the last couple guys. To me there’s usually maybe eight, nine guys who are sort of automatic. And then three or four guys who come from a pool of 10 or 15, and that’s really difficult. I like to reward winning. I think players who are affecting their teams’ won-loss record the most probably deserve the edge. Beyond that, maybe it’s circumstantial, maybe you have to take into account other things. But it’s a difficult process, and I’ll face that next week when I have to make my own votes for the reserves.”
Thompson, who is averaging 26.8 points a game in January and has helped fuel the Warriors’ eight-game winning streak, is confident he will join Curry and Durant in Charlotte.
“I want to be there,” Thompson said after Wednesday’s practice. “If we keep winning, we’re in first place, I feel like we probably deserve to be there because of our performance the last five years at the top of the standings. It’s not easy; I don’t know how many times it’s ever been done so — if I don’t make it, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll go to the beach and enjoy myself.”
Kerr knows his star swingman is trying to make a late push for the game, but he also understands Thompson’s early-season slump might be tough to overcome.
“Klay’s had an amazing month,” Kerr said. “But I know he didn’t shoot it as well earlier in the year. I think he’s got a really good chance, but there’s a lot of guys at that position, so we’ll see.”
As for Green, a toe injury that forced him to miss several weeks in November hampered his usually solid numbers, but he has bounced back to play his best basketball of the season over the past month as well.
“I don’t really know what’s the criteria, how people will judge that,” Green said of another potential All-Star berth after Wednesday’s practice. “But at the end of the day, it’s not really something I worry about. If it happened, great. Obviously I’m always appreciative of being an All-Star in this league because it’s tough. If it don’t [happen], I’ll enjoy a nice vacation. So I’m kind of in a win-win situation.”