Friendlier schedule means Steve Kerr hasn't 'felt a need to rest our guys'
From NBA media reports
Remember when player rest and the pace and space, or lack thereof, of the NBA schedule was the hot button topic around the league? Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr does. It was just last season, when it seemed a day didn’t go by without the topics coming up before or after games in which stars and role players from around the league were being held out for rest purposes and it causing a never-ending debate about the merits of player maintenance programs being a fact of life for most teams.
After the league made a concerted effort to make changes to the number of back-to-backs and ease some of the strain of the 82-game schedule, coaches like Kerr recognize the benefits of the changes that were made. In fact, with his Warriors hosting the San Antonio Spurs tonight (8:30 ET, ABC), Kerr took the time to praise the league for the work done to Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group:
After 17 sets of back-to-back games last season, the Warriors’ 2017-18 schedule called for 14 (10 of which they’ve already played). There is nothing approaching last season’s absurd stretch of eight games in eight cities over 13 days.
“The players are much more prepared to play in every game,” Kerr said. “I’ve only rested guys who are older and banged up. I haven’t felt a need to rest our guys who are in their prime. The league has done a great job with the schedule.”
Granted, the Warriors have still experienced long-term absences to Stephen Curry (combined 15 games), Kevin Durant (eight), Draymond Green (six) and Zaza Pachulia (eight), but those have been due mostly to injuries. Regular rest has been given only to 34-year-old Andre Iguodala (nine games), 32-year-old Shaun Livingston (eight) and 37-year-old David West (four).
Among the core four, only Klay Thompson has been kept out solely for the purpose of rest, and that happened only once.
That stands in sharp contrast to last season when Kerr sometimes sat his stars, drawing criticism last March when he sat Curry, Thompson, Green and Iguodala — all healthy — along with an injured Durant for a nationally televised game at San Antonio. (He seemed to have the tacit approval of Popovich, who rested Spurs stars Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.)