Golden State coach Steve Kerr, given a day to reflect, likened Beverley’s flopping to facing one of the great heavyweight champions of all time, saying that Beverley’s head pops back as though he’s being punched by Mike Tyson.
“I didn’t think it was a good call,” Kerr said. “You know Beverley’s going to flop, and Draymond turned. It looked like Tyson punched him in the face.”
With 10:53 to play in the third quarter and the Warriors trailing by 11, Green was called for an offensive foul on Beverley. Green then argued with referee Marc Davis and was assessed a technical foul. Kerr said he thought Green had been clapping and trying to get the Oracle Arena crowd more into the game when he was called for the technical.
“Beverley’s good at that,” Kerr said. “His head literally snaps back. I worry he’s going to get whiplash on some of these flops. But he’s good at it. And the refs, they’re oftentimes partial to the little guy who’s down there.
“I didn’t like that particular call,” he said of the offensive foul. “I know Draymond didn’t, hence the technical. There’s no question Draymond was trying to get the crowd going.”
A day after the loss, which cut the Warriors’ series lead to 3-2, Kerr also praised Beverley, who grabbed a playoff-career-high 14 rebounds.
“We missed a lot of boxouts with him,” Kerr said Thursday. “But you’ve got to know what you’re up against when you play against Beverley. He’s a competitor. That’s how he’s made his money in this league. That’s how he’s been able to stick around — because he competes, and he makes you uncomfortable. He scraps. He goes after loose balls. I love that guy. He’s a helluva competitor. He’s a helluva player. I think every coach would like to have a guy like him on the team. You have to understand when you’re playing against him that you have to match that edge. That’s what we didn’t do last night. I thought his first-quarter effort and our lack of a response set the tone for the whole game.”
After Game 4, Green took umbrage when asked why he was more “edgy” than usual.
“Was I edgy? I was edgy?” Green said. “I got a tech. Think I give a damn about getting a tech? You consider that edgy? You should’ve watched some of my past games if you want to see edgy.”
On Thursday, Green wasn’t answering to media and didn’t seem worried about whether Kerr could in his session with reporters. With music blaring during shootaround as Green practiced his outside shot, Kerr had trouble hearing questions from reporters and twice asked a Warriors public relations official if the volume could be lowered.
His request was denied both times.
When jokingly asked who was in charge, Kerr replied, “Not me, obviously.”
But Kerr said he won’t hesitate to take charge when the Warriors look to close out the Clippers in Game 6 on Friday in Los Angeles. Andre Iguodala could replace Andrew Bogut as a starter in a return to the “death lineup” for the Warriors, Kerr said.
“There’s no question I have to consider all of our options in terms of rotations,” Kerr said, “and who’s playing with whom and for how long. All that stuff. That’s our job.”
More than anything, Kerr said effort is the Warriors’ biggest issue.
“[On Wednesday] night, they played harder than we did,” he said. “Schemes go out the window when a team plays harder than you. Schemes don’t matter unless you compete. I always say it every year — the first adjustment that you have to make is to play harder. Then you can get into switching rotations, matchups. I thought in L.A., we played really hard. I think our last two home games, we let our guard down. The one thing that you should know from watching the Clippers all year is that this is a competitive, fun team that enjoys playing together, and they’re not going to go away. So we’ve got to put them away by competing, and that’s what we have to do.”
Kerr also focused on his team’s issues on defense.
“Offense is not the problem,” he said. “They’re doing a good job defensively. They’re making certain guys shoot, and they’re trying to take away certain areas of the floor, but this is the playoffs. This is exactly how it always works. Every team has got a lot of time to prepare, so you come up with little schemes, new lineup shifts. So we’ve seen this for five years.
“Teams have been watching us in the playoffs for five years, so they’ve been plotting and scheming, and they’ve had a lot of homework and a lot of research that they were able to do over the years. We expect all of this. Everything that the Clippers are doing defensively, we’ve seen before. They’re doing a really good job, but again, we’re scoring plenty of points. We can do some things better offensively, but it comes down to defensive focus and energy and intensity. We take care of that part, a lot of things will resolve themselves.”
Kerr admitted that his team “wasted” an opportunity to wrap up the series earlier and earn a few more days of rest, but he said he still likes the Warriors’ positioning.
“You go into every playoff series, at least I do, and you want to be up 3-2,” he said. “If you have home court like we do, you want to be up 3-2 in every series so that you’ve got one shot on the road and one shot at home if the shot on the road doesn’t work. So, yeah, we would’ve liked to have won last night. That was the blueprint: Win in five and get some rest. That’s out of the window. We wasted the opportunity. But we’re still in a really good position, and we have to take advantage of it.”
ESPN’s Baxter Holmes contributed to this report.