In a year that has seen the Golden State Warriors get off to a particularly poor start for a team that just captured the chip, there have been a handful of situations during which the club has consistently underperformed.
Some would point to the shortfall on the defensive end as the big thing. Others might lay blame for the Dubs’ sub-.500 record at the feet of the second unit. There’s also a thought that the youth movement has been the top disappointment of 2022-23.
Regardless of where one stands, there’s at least one thing that everyone can agree on — when Stephen Curry leaves the floor, everything comes crashing down behind him. The on/numbers are ridiculous; with Curry in the game, Golden State has outscored opponents by 7.7 points per 100 possessions. When he sits, there’s a massive swing in the other direction to minus-21.2 points/100 poss.
Unfortunately, Steve Kerr can’t play Steph all the time. Against the Pelicans, he even gave the eight-time All-Star a night off. The Warriors play-caller doesn’t relish keeping his top gun in the holster, though. On the contrary, he just intimated that it’s one of the toughest parts of his job.
Kerr Gets Real on Telling Steph Curry to Sit
Steph’s absence was very clearly felt in the Pels game, and in the worst possible way, too. Without their MVP candidate, the Warriors stumbled and bumbled their way to a 45-point defeat and posted season-worst numbers in multiple categories. Alas, rest days are a necessary evil when you’re a veteran team looking to win the title.
Even so, it’s never easy for Kerr to scratch Steph from the lineup.
“Oh, it’s really hard,” Kerr said emphatically of benching Curry during a Tuesday appearance on 95.7 The Game’s Damon & Ratto.
“It’s really hard to try to tell Steph that he’s not going to play. But we have to protect him from himself. The fact that we flew back from New Orleans today and play tomorrow night and then play again Friday night and fly off Saturday back across the country — it’s a brutal schedule.”
Curry’s absence may be a killer for the team but, given the baller’s advancing years, Kerr believes that keeping his workload in check is of the utmost importance.
“As well as he’s playing, he’s banged up and, at 34, it’s just going to be something we make sure we stay on top of. We’ve seen what can happen — last year, Draymond [Green] gets the back injury and misses the last 35 games of the year or so,” Kerr said.
“These guys, when they get a little older and they get more vulnerable — we have a performance team that’s monitoring them. We’re going to look after them and if they’re banged up and they need a night off, we’re going to give them a night off.”
Warriors Catching Big-Time Break vs Clippers
Kerr, Curry and the rest of the Bay Area Crew will look to get back on the winning track once again when they play host to the LA Clippers at Chase Center on Wednesday. And while it was the Dubs who were severely shorthanded in NOLA, they’ll be on the other side of that coin against the Clippers.
Here’s the injury report for Los Angeles, as of 9:30 pm ET on the eve of the contest:
Brandon Boston Jr: OUT – G League Assignment
Moussa Diabate: OUT – G League Assignment/Two-Way
Paul George: OUT – Right Hamstring; Tendon Strain
Luke Kennard: OUT – Right Calf; Strain
Kawhi Leonard: OUT – Right Ankle; Sprain
Jason Preston: OUT – G League Assignment