The Golden State Warriors have put together an underwhelming season up to this point. After bringing home the title last year, injuries and a poor bench unit have hurt them this season. However, they did manage to pick up a big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, and Draymond Green all sat out, but Jordan Poole and Ty Jerome led the Warriors to a win. And if losing to the short-handed Warriors wasn’t enough, one Cavaliers fan went viral for an image that portrayed their anger toward Curry.
One Cavaliers fan showed up at the arena with a sign that read, “Traveled 809 miles to take my son see [Curry] sit on the bench.” FanDuel social media personality Gabb Goudy posted a picture of the sign to Twitter, and it quickly went viral.
As the Warriors were set to be playing their second game of a back-to-back, fans got less than a day’s notice that Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green wouldn’t be playing. This left a lot of fans upset that they wouldn’t get to see their favorite players.
Golden State only plays in Cleveland once a year, barring a matchup in the NBA Finals, so most fans in that area only have one real chance per season to see Curry play. And when the superstars rest, it takes away from that experience.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke about load management, calling it a “brutal part of the business.”
“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets expecting to see someone play and they don’t get to see that person play. It’s a brutal part of the business,” Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “It’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons. I know that means less revenue. But at some point, I think there needs to be an awareness from everybody involved – the league, players, coaches, performance staff. Let’s be really smart. Let’s take care of these guys and play fewer games and the overall quality of the game will be better, and if that’s the case revenue is going to go up anyway.”
Darius Garland Sends Message on Short-Handed Warriors
Despite missing some of their best players, the Warriors still earned a win, as the Cavaliers seemingly didn’t bring their A-Game. They were missing Donovan Mitchell, but they still should have had the advantage heading in. That being said, after the game, Darius Garland praised Golden State’s short-handed squad.
“I don’t think we overlooked them,” Garland stated via the Cavaliers’ official YouTube channel. “They’re in the league for a reason. So, I don’t think they were overlooked. Like I said before, they got it going in the first quarter. When you get going in the first, you get confidence, so that leads throughout the entire game. And that’s what it was.”
Steve Kerr Discusses Jordan Poole Altercation
Another point of contention from the Cavaliers game was the altercation between Kerr and Poole. The Warriors guard picked up an offensive foul at the end of the third quarter and followed it up by earning a delay of game, giving the Cavaliers a technical free throw. Kerr could be seen on the sidelines yelling at him to “lock the f*** in.”
After the game, however, Kerr said that Poole actually played very well, and in that moment, he simply “snapped.”
“I’m going to stay on Jordan,” Kerr said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s continuing to grow and he’s getting better. I think the last two games, he was fantastic in terms of staying off the referees. He got the offensive foul and then held the ball as he talked to the ref, and that was a delay of game. So I’m trying to get Jordan to the point where he understands every play counts and every moment counts. So, every once in a while, I snap and I snapped in that moment and he looked at me like I was nuts. But it’s all part of it. I love Jordan and I love the way he’s playing and he was incredible tonight.”