As they reach the end of a successful road trip that has included three wins in the last four games, the Golden State Warriors are giving Steph Curry and other veterans an early ticket home.
The Warriors have reportedly decided to give Curry and several other players the night off against the Toronto Raptors, allowing them to get a break and avoid the complications of traveling north of the border. Golden State is nearly ready to return home after a trip that included a historic night for Curry, and the team is preparing for a big return in the coming weeks.
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Warriors Send Curry Home Early
As Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported, the Warriors will be without six veteran players as they travel to Toronto to close out their five-game road trip. Curry is getting the night off after playing in all four contests, including back-to-back games against the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. In the second of those games, Curry passed Ray Allen for the all-time lead in career three-pointers.
As Slater reported, the Warriors are also giving a break to four ailing players — Andrew Wiggins, who is dealing with soreness in his left knee; Andre Iguodala, who is managing an injured right knee that forced him to miss several games; Draymond Green, who has tightness in his right hip; Otto Porter, who is managing a hurting left foot; and Jordan Poole, who is in the league’s health and safety protocols.
As Slater reported, the players are not just getting the night off, but an early trip back home. Instead of staying on the bench with teammates, as they have typically done on a rest night, the players are traveling back to San Francisco to avoid the health and safety protocol needed to enter Canada.
“They aren’t flying to Toronto tonight, instead heading back to the Bay Area for an extra off-day, avoiding the logistics that is entering/leaving Canada with COVID protocols in place,” Slater reported.
Kerr Explains Decision
After the Warriors notched a hard-fought 111-107 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday, Kerr explained that it made sense to give some players a break.
“It felt like a really good win,” Kerr said, via ESPN. “Just knowing we got to play [Saturday] and on a five game trip, guaranteeing us at least three wins, it makes this a great trip and now [Saturday] is a little more of a free swing and we’ll see what happens.”
Kerr had faced some scrutiny for Curry’s heavy workload throughout the early stretch of the season. Earlier this month, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic criticized the Warriors coach for missing what seemed like an obvious opportunity to give Curry some rest on the back end of another back-to-back slate of games.
“The Warriors missed an opportunity to rest Steph Curry vs. Spurs and the fatigue was obvious,” Thompson wrote after the Warriors lost to the San Antonio Spurs. “He’s played 22 of 23 games, which is on pace to play about 78. But he’s 33, always working again complex defenses and physicality. And he hasn’t played 70 games in a season since 2016-17.”