Unhappy about rescheduling, Warriors not sending three starters to Denver

Warriors coach Steve Kerr
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Warriors have lost four straight and eight of 10.

Just in time for tonight’s rescheduled game against the Nuggets kicking off a strenuous stretch of three games in four nights – at Denver tonight, home vs. Clippers tomorrow, back at Denver on Thursday.

Tonight’s game was originally scheduled for Dec. 30, but the Nuggets were facing coronavirus issues. The contest got rescheduled in January to tonight.

Golden State doesn’t sound happy about the new timing and will rest two All-Stars and an all-time great who’s still startingStephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson – tonight.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, via Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area:

“We are not sending a lot of our players to Denver,” Kerr said after Saturday night’s loss. “The decision was pretty easy. Throwing that game into the schedule the way the league did after that game was postponed and then going back to Denver — three games in four nights, with two of those games being back and forth, we’re not gonna put our high-minutes guys at risk.”

Kerr sounds spoiled.

When was the the NBA supposed to reschedule this game? Aside from the day after the original postponement (when it’s unclear whether the Nuggets would’ve been ready to play) and the All-Star break, every other mutual off date would’ve meant a back-to-back-to-back for at least one of the teams. Three games in four days looks better by comparison.

There were no perfect days to reschedule the league’s numerous postponed games. Would it have been better to trim Golden State’s and Denver’s All-Star breaks by a day? Maybe, though that would’ve had its own shortcomings. Should more effort have been made to burden the Nuggets, who couldn’t play on the original date, rather than the Warriors? Again, perhaps, though there’s something uncomfortable about effectively punishing a team for its players contracting a highly contagious virus during a pandemic. Every NBA team has faced coronavirus issues this season.

It sure doesn’t look like the league is picking on Golden State with the revised schedule.

The Warriors – for themselves – are probably better off leaving back Curry, Wiggins and Thompson. It’s not worth the wear and tear ahead of what they hope will be a deep playoff run. But it gets back to the fundamental question of teams resting players: Where should the line be drawn between teams protecting their own interests and putting the best entertainment product on the floor each game?

In this case, like the rescheduling, it’ll be on the NBA to decide.