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sport / / BANG/Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need the best version of Steph Curry to join them there

o BANG/Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need the best veAllen

BANG/Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need the best version of Steph Curry to join them there


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG/Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need
the best version of Steph Curry to join them there
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2024 15:21:45 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 5 Apr 2024 22:21 UTC

Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need the best
version of Steph Curry to join them there
Golden State Warriors: Steph Curry needs a break and the Warriors should
make that a top priority of the last week of the season.
>Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry runs upcourt during the first
half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs,
Sunday, March 31, 2024, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

PUBLISHED: April 5, 2024 at 9:00 a.m. | UPDATED: April 5, 2024 at 9:15 a.m.

The Warriors are finally on that strong run they long promised.

And they’ve made it at the perfect time.

Winners of six straight games, the Warriors effectively clinched the No.
10 seed in the Western Conference on Thursday night with a win over the
Rockets, giving them a four-game lead and a tiebreaker over their once
rivals with six games to play.

Spot secured.

And while this run will have Warriors fans thinking big (relatively
speaking) — looking at the Lakers (1.5 games ahead as of Thursday night)
and Kings (2 games ahead of them in the standings) — and thinking the
Dubs can move up, perhaps even avoiding the single-elimination game
between No. 9 and No. 10 altogether, the Warriors need to have their
sights on something larger.

“We’re not thinking about any of that. We’re just trying to win,”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “We’re on a nice run right now
and playing good basketball, and we’re going to keep doing that for the
next six games and see where we land.”

This team is in the postseason. They need enough gas for the play-in
tournament and whatever might follow those games.

That might mean being overly pragmatic over the next week and finding
spots for Steph Curry to rest.

Let’s make this clear: The Warriors should extend this winning streak as
long as possible. They’re making hay right now, and they cannot take
that for granted. The team’s next game is Friday night in Dallas,
followed by a game against the Jazz, who will probably be on an 11-game
losing streak when they arrive at Chase Center on Sunday. It all sets up
a huge game against the Lakers next Tuesday.

If the good times keep rolling, the Warriors stand a chance at a
built-in rest period for Curry and the veterans.

So allow me to think about it.

If the Dubs were to drop any of those three games, the No. 9 seed would
prove implausible. The No. 8 seed would be out of the question.

And that’s when you give Curry a night or two off.

The Warriors superstar clearly needs a break. The rest of the Warriors
roster has been pulling their weight lately, but Curry had to carry this
team for months. He’s 36 years old, he has more miles than my 2007 Honda
CR-V on him, and he’s showing this season that he is human.

Every break he has received this season— be it for injury, the necessary
gap in the schedule after assistant coach Dejan Milojević’s death, or
the All-Star break—has preceded a burst from Curry.

A fresh Curry is the Warriors star at his best. That’s what they need in
the postseason if they are to advance further than last season.

Thursday night, Curry dug deep and turned in a brilliant performance to
end the Rockets’ season — old rivalries die hard — but he is shooting 36
percent from beyond the arc (like a mortal) and a lowly 40 percent from
the floor in the 19 games he has played after the All-Star break. His 22
points per game since that point is downright pedestrian — more Cam
Thomas and Kyle Kuzma than Dončić or LeBron.

There’s a reason Steve Kerr has been monitoring the guard’s minutes.

The Warriors found a gem in Trayce Jackson-Davis
Warriors put a pin in Rockets’ postseason hopes with blowout win
Why Jonathan Kuminga was scratched from big Warriors-Rockets matchup
Once the best rivalry in the NBA, Warriors-Rockets begins a new,
strange chapter
Stage set for Warriors-Rockets matchup with major play-in ramifications

Curry’s brilliance is that even in his lazy games, you can’t say he’s
dogging it. But with the whistle being more lenient—clocks spring
forward, and refs start “letting them play”—Curry is being battered
around, and it’s evident his legs aren’t fully under him when he does
break free.

If he carries this form into the play-in, the Warriors would likely have
two high-pressure games in two different cities over three days. Pushing
Curry all the way to the end of the regular season, giving him two days
off, and hoping he’ll have enough gas in the tank to provide two of his
best games of the season would be a dangerous game, if not a downright
stupid one.

Yes, things could all work out come the end of the regular season — the
Warriors could go into the final game or two with nothing to play for,
allowing them to rest Curry.

But wouldn’t it be better to be proactive, in case something big is on
the line over the season’s final weekend?

If the Warriors beat Dallas and don’t want to rest Curry Sunday against
the Jazz, then he should certainly be on the sideline for one of the
Warriors’ back-to-back games late next week.

With the way they play defense these days, the Warriors, improbably,
have a chance to play in a real playoff series.

The difference between playing that series and winning it will be if
they have Curry playing at his best.

That’s not currently the case.

So whatever the Dubs can do to bring that best version to the
postseason, they need to make happen.

sport / / BANG/Kurtenbach: The Warriors are going to the postseason. They need the best version of Steph Curry to join them there


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