IT'S no secret that every team in the NBA wants to claim the top seed in their respective conference and receive the home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs. But Steve Kerr isn’t risking it over his team’s health concerns.
The Golden State Warriors recently toppled the visiting Detroit Pistons, 121-114, giving them a record of 50-23 in the conference standings. But GSW, remarkably, did this without star center, DeMarcus Cousins and prolific forward/guard, Andre Iguodala, who were both given the night off to rest.
And before that, on Saturday’s game against the lowly Dallas Mavericks, the Warriors were crushed on their home court, 126-91, while not having Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston in their lineup.
Apparently, DeMarcus Cousins is still recovering from last season’s left Achilles tendon injury, which sidelined him until January 18 of this year.
Kerr said that they decided to not have Cousins play back-to-back games based on the assessment of Rick Celebrini, the Warriors’ director of sports medicine and performance. That means their big man will miss at least two more games in the remainder of the regular season with back-to-backs on April 4-5 and April 9-10.
Kerr told reporters that, once in a while, Rick Celebrini will come up and advise him to give somebody a rest. And apparently, one key player was told to take the night off: Steph Curry. “He’s been going a couple months straight,” Kerr said. “Has looked a little tired the last couple of weeks, so it made perfect sense [...] So within all that, we try to win.”
It’s not totally news that’s unheard off that teams do rest before the season comes to a close, as seen with Greg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs when Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker were still in the team. Now, it seems that Steve Kerr is doing his own version of this, but with the advice of their trainers and medical team. We have to wonder to what extent will the NBA allow this “reluctance” to put the Golden State's top players on the floor.
As much as it is a smart idea for the players and the coaches as a whole, will the Golden State Warriors remain the top seed going into the playoffs?