More JaVale? Kerr Not Changing Warriors' Four-center Rotation

OAKLAND – There is a drumbeat among Warriors fans for more of JaVale McGee, and the volume increases each time Zaza Pachulia mishandles a pass or fails to finish at the rim.

Don't expect much to change, though.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr is committed, at least for now, to his four-center rotation of Pachulia, McGee, David West and Draymond Green.

"We like what they're all doing," Kerr told on Thursday. "We don't want to go away from our small lineup with Draymond at the center. That's effective for us. We really like David with that second group, so that's not going to change.

"So that leaves the rest of the minutes to be divvied up between Zaza and JaVale, and we really like what Zaza does for us."

Pachulia starts and averages about 17 minutes per game. The other 31 minutes go to McGee, Green and West, usually in an order dictated by momentary needs.

Of the four, McGee gets the fewest minutes, averaging 8.3 per game. Because of his height (7-feet) and athleticism, he is targeted for lob passes that he dunks.

Of the various lineups the Warriors use, none is more explosive than that featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and McGee. That group is scoring 139.7 points per 48 minutes.

The team's No. 2 scoring unit, at 136.1 points per 48 minutes, is that with Curry, Thompson, Green and McGee joined by Kevin Durant instead of Iguodala.

The No. 3 scoring unit, at 134.1 points per 48 minutes, is the "Death Lineup," featuring Green at center, surrounded by Durant, Iguodala, Thompson and Curry.

The absence of Pachulia among these units at least partially explains the desire for more McGee.

"JaVale is in the role that he's in – and it could expand, based on injury or something else – but I like him as a short-burst, Energizer Bunny guy," Kerr said. "I think that's when he's at his best."

As for the anxiety within Oracle Arena that accompanies attempts to get the ball to Pachulia in paint traffic, often resulting in turnover, it's something Kerr is willing to live with – for now.

"I still want him to have the ball because he's a good passer himself," Kerr said. "If a guy is open, I always want to throw the ball to him because the defense has dictated that's where the ball should go.

"I think the vast majority of what happens is positive when he gets the ball in the paint. So if he makes some occasional turnovers, I'm alright with that."

One thing that makes it easier for the coaching staff to endure the turnovers: Pachulia's 6.0 assists per 48 minutes has him tied for second, with Grizzlies big man Marc Gasol, among NBA centers.

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