Following Golden State’s overtime loss against the Celtics last week, coach Steve Kerr benched superstar Steph Curry along with starters Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson the next day against the Cavaliers.
Naturally, he was questioned after the game about his starting lineup and having not included the team’s stars in what used to be a classic encounter between two of the biggest franchises in the NBA. The truth is, Kerr is well aware nobody enjoys a Warriors game without their key players, but insists thay the athlete’s health is his absolute priority.
For Golden State’s coach, the NBA is yet to solve the “resting” concerns with team’s rosters, as he has been addressing the issue for years. He’s always shared the same solution: play less games per season.
“You take 10 games off the schedule, it always feels like with 10 games left in the year everybody’s sort of had it anyways,” he said in the post-match interview after beating Cleveland. “That creates enough rest where we don’t have to have some of these crazy situations. I think you’d see way fewer games missed from players.”
Steve Kerr says he believes the NBA needs to move to a 72-game schedule. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/tfHBdbG7MO
— theScore (@theScore) January 21, 2023
Kerr’s ideas of a shorter season would not only balance the schedule and enhance the quality of the games, but most importantly improve the player’s health. This way, the team’s stars aren’t already beat by the time they qualify for playoffs, which is when they are needed the most.
In the Warriors camp, the coach has had to rotate his starters lately, even more than usual, trying to bring equilibrium to their many problems. For example, Curry was out due to a shoulder injury for about three weeks, and last week he played a great game against the Celtics scoring 29 points, but as the match went into overtime, you could tell he was out of shape after 43 minutes on court.
So it came as no surprise Golden State’s star was put to rest. “Everybody is being cautious when a guy is banged up”, Kerr continued. “You’re just playing the long game.”
But let’s face the facts, the Warriors were able to handle the Cavaliers perfectly without the their usual starters. Jordan Poole was the only common starter to face the Cavs and ended up with 32 points. So, without their historic Big 3, the Warriors made 23 three-pointers and knocked out Cleveland 120-114 to cap a five-game trip at 3-2. Have we grown accustomed to believing teams are so dependable on their more marketable athletes?
Watch the entirety of the Golden State trainer’s opinion on the matter, as he was interviewed this weekend:
Rival coach also concurs with Kerr’s proposal
Cleveland coach J.B. Bickerstaff also believes there’s a bigger benefit to giving players more rest. While the Warriors are suffering their fair share of losses to injury, the Cavaliers have decided to sit their star guard Donovan Mitchell for the second straight game after a strained groin issue.
The Cavs trainer trusts that more rest eventually extends player’s careers, therefore giving fans the chance to seem them play longer. “You look at these guys and they’re playing 15 years to some guys 20 years,” he said. “So it’s a trade off of five games a season and you get five more years of these guys playing. So I think in the long run, the fans get their money’s worth because guys do get to extend their career and play more years.”
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