CLEVELAND — Steve Kerr doesn’t like being the bad guy and sympathizes with fans who get upset when NBA teams continue to be star players.

The Golden State coach has a solution: fewer games.

Following the Warriors’ overtime loss in Boston on Thursday night, Kerr sat down as a superstar. Stephen Curry along with starters dramond green, klay thompson Y Andrew Wiggins on Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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 rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. won by Golden State.

Kerr’s decision meant fans were deprived of perhaps seeing Curry at a shooting clinic like he did at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse at last year’s All-Star Game. This is the Golden State’s only visit to Cleveland.

“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets hoping to see someone play and don’t get to see that person play,” Kerr said. “It’s a brutal part of the business. That’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons.”

Kerr’s reasoning is that a shorter season would better protect the health of the players, balance the schedule and improve the overall quality of the game. More importantly, it would keep players fresh for the playoffs when games mean the most.

“You take 10 games off the schedule, it always feels like there are 10 games left in the year, everyone had it anyway,” he said. “That creates enough of a break that we don’t have to have some of these crazy situations. I think you’d see a lot fewer games lost by players.”

Only jordan poole he was available among Kerr’s starters used against the Celtics. Poole also played 43 minutes in Boston.

Kerr has been juggling his rotation of late as he tries to balance returning injured players and getting adequate rest. Curry was sidelined by the shoulder, while Wiggins missed 15 games with a leg muscle strain and a non-COVID illness.

Kerr has also been trying to pull his team out of a season-long slump. The Warriors are 22-23 and just 5-18 on the road.

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

“You can’t operate that way,” he said. “I know it’s a big topic in the league. We have a lot more data. A lot more awareness of player vulnerability. It’s proven that if guys get hit, back to back, players are much more likely to get hurt.” and miss more games and that’s why you’re seeing it all over the league.

“Everybody’s being cautious when a guy’s banged up. You’re just playing the long game.”

While the Warriors are severely shorthanded, the Cavs are sitting around star guard. Donovan Mitchell for the second game in a row with a crooked muzzle.

Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff believes there is a greater benefit in giving players more rest. He extends the runs, therefore giving the fans a chance to appear to be playing longer.

“You look at these guys and they’re playing 15-year-olds against some 20-year-old guys,” he said. “So, it’s a five-game-a-season trade and you get five more years out of these guys playing. So I think in the long run, the fans get their money’s worth because the guys get to extend their career and play more years.

“I know, from our point of view, that you only get to see one team once a year. I know it can be frustrating for the fans if those guys don’t play, but I think it’s for the greater good of the game to get these superstars and elite .players for several years and several more seasons, I think it’s only good for the game.”

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

By sbavh

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