All-Star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is only averaging 33.7 minutes per game in his play this season, which is considerably low compared to other star franchise players in the league. After an impressive 114-91 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr responded to criticisms regarding the restrictions of the star guard’s playing time.
Kerr Played Curry For the Fans
Warriors fans, of course, have not been too receptive of the coaching staff’s decision to restrict Curry, while others completely understand. Curry led the team in scoring in Tuesday night’s rematch against the Spurs at the AT&T Center. Curry managed to drop 32 points in just 32 minutes of play. If you do the math correctly, that’s one point per minute of play.
The Warriors led the entire game, where the win was solidified as early as the third quarter. Even despite their lead throughout the entire game, Kerr decided to bench Curry during the fourth quarter.
In his postgame interview, Kerr even admitted that the reason for putting Curry back in the game was because of the fans.
“I had heard so much from our fanbase the last couple days, I figured I should put them back in the game to keep them happy.”
“Everything’s going to be amplified because of social media, Kerr said in his interview after the team’s first matchup with the Spurs. “To be honest, I’m just happy our fans care so much that they’re engaged. That’s what we want in sports. We want our fans to be really passionate. We ask that of them. We try to give them a product that will make them passionate about our team…”
What Kerr is receiving most of his criticism about is the fact that Curry has been playing a lot less down the stretch and even late in games when the score is close.
With this recent win over the Spurs, Curry is averaging 29.6 points in his 33.7 minutes per game this season. Curry even said he understands how enthused the fans are this season although they’re not able to attend the games. Curry responded to the fans wanting more playing time in his postgame interview saying that “Little stuff like that, it’s fun. That’s what this business is.”
The Reason Behind Curry’s Playing Limit
After losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the Warriors’ first matchup of their back-to-back series on Sunday, Kerr opened up about why he’s restricting Curry’s minutes to lower than normal, per the Warriors’ Soundcloud. The Warriors coach stated that he wanted to make sure that their star remained healthy for as long as possible.
“I’m into the long game. We’re counting on having Steph here a long time — many, many years ahead … so we’re going to stay very disciplined and try to keep him at that 34, 35 minute mark.”
This is in addition to the consistency issues that the Warriors have been experiencing this season, of course. Kerr also included that Curry accepts what the organization is choosing to do, and knows that it’s for the betterment of the team.
“Steph’s a grown up. He’s an incredible teammate. He has full awareness of what we’re doing right now and what this season is about…Steph’s not frustrated. He doesn’t like to lose, he’s a big time competitor, but he’ll hang in.”