Warriors’ Steve Kerr says he feels ‘awful’ for fans after resting starters in Cleveland

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he feels bad for fans after resting his starters on Friday, adding he would like to see the NBA cut its schedule by 10 games to accommodate the Limit player fatigue.

Despite this, the defending champions defeated the Cavaliers, who were without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell.

“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets and expect to see someone play and they don’t see that person play,” Kerr said after the 120-114 win. “It’s a brutal part of the business. So I will continue to push for 72-game seasons.”

After the Warriors’ overtime loss in Boston on Thursday night, Kerr seeded superstar Steph Curry along with starters Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins against the Cavs on Friday night.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he feels bad for fans after resting his starters on Friday, adding he would like to see the NBA cut its schedule by 10 games to accommodate the Limit player fatigue

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he feels bad for fans after resting his starters on Friday, adding he would like to see the NBA cut its schedule by 10 games to accommodate the Limit player fatigue

The Warriors still won Friday night in Cleveland thanks to a 32-point performance from Jordan Poole

The Warriors still won Friday night in Cleveland thanks to a 32-point performance from Jordan Poole

Curry, who recently returned after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury, played 43 minutes and scored 29 points in the Warriors’ 121-118 loss to the Celtics in a repeat of the NBA Finals won by Golden State last season Season.

Kerr’s decision meant fans were denied a chance to see Curry host a shooting clinic like he did at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in last year’s All-Star Game. This is Golden State’s only visit to Cleveland.

The award-winning coach’s reasoning is that a shorter season would better protect player health, balance the schedule, and improve the overall quality of the game. Above all, it would keep players fresh for the playoffs when the games mean more.

“They take 10 games off the schedule, it always feels like with 10 games left in the year they all kind of have it anyway,” he said. “It creates enough calm where we don’t have to have some of these crazy situations. I think you would see a lot fewer games missed by players.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts off the bench in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Friday

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts off the bench in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on Friday

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors prepares for a free throw during Thursday's game against the Boston Celtics

Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors prepares for a free throw during Thursday’s game against the Boston Celtics

Among the starters was only Jordan Poole, who Kerr used against the Celtics. Poole also played 43 minutes in Boston.

Kerr has been juggling his rotation lately while trying to bring players back from injuries and giving them proper rest. Curry was with his shoulder out while Wiggins missed 15 games with a strained leg muscle and a non-COVID illness.

Kerr has also tried to get his team out of a season-long funk. The Warriors are 22-23 and only 5-18 on the road.

He said the decision to rest his four players against the Cavs had nothing to do with losing to the Celtics.

“You can’t operate like that,” he said. “I know it’s a big issue in the league. We have so much more data. So much more awareness of player vulnerability. It’s been proven that when players go back to back, players are far more likely to get injured and miss more games and that’s why you see it across the league.

“Everybody’s wary of a guy getting beat up. You’re just playing the long game.”

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors speaks to the media after the game against the San Antonio Spurs January 13

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors speaks to the media after the game against the San Antonio Spurs January 13

While the Warriors are severely undermanned, the Cavs star guard Donovan Mitchell is sitting with a strained groin for the second straight game.

Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff believes there is a greater benefit in giving players more rest. It lengthens careers and therefore gives fans a chance to see them play longer.

“You look at these guys and they play 15 years against some guys 20 years,” he said. “So it’s a trade-off of five games a season and you get five more years these guys play. So I think in the long run the fans will get their money’s worth because the guys can extend their careers and play more years.

“I know from our point of view you only see a team once a year. I know it can be frustrating for fans when these guys don’t play, but I think for the good of the game, getting these superstars and elite players for multiple years and multiple seasons is only good for the game. ‘

Cleveland will also be without reserve guard Ricky Rubio, who recently returned after missing a year following knee surgery. The Cavs are just wary of Rubio, who played 12 minutes against the Grizzlies.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/nba/article-11660389/Warriors-Steve-Kerr-says-feels-terrible-fans-resting-starters-Cleveland.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Warriors’ Steve Kerr says he feels ‘awful’ for fans after resting starters in Cleveland

Maureen Mackey

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