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sport / / BANG: ‘He needed it’: Why Warriors decided to rest Steph Curry against Jazz

o BANG: ‘He needed it’: Why Warriors decided to rest Steph Curry against JazzAllen

BANG: ‘He needed it’: Why Warriors decided to rest Steph Curry against Jazz


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG: ‘He needed it’: Why Warriors dec
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2024 20:34:51 -0700
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 by: Allen - Mon, 8 Apr 2024 03:34 UTC

‘He needed it’: Why Warriors decided to rest Steph Curry against Jazz
Curry has played the most games in a season since 2016-17
>Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) follows his three point shot
as Dallas Mavericks’ Daniel Gafford (21) and Golden State Warriors fans
react in the second quarter of a NBA game at Chase Center in San
Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News

Danny Emerman is a Bay Area News Group sports reporter
By DANNY EMERMAN | | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 7, 2024 at 4:57 p.m. | UPDATED: April 7, 2024 at 5:16 p.m.

The Warriors are still jockeying to climb up the play-in standings. For
weeks, every game has had a playoff-like feel. Even after officially
clinching a postseason bid Sunday with Houston’s loss, there’s value in
carrying momentum into the play-in by peaking at the right time.

Despite all of that, the Warriors decided to give Steph Curry the night
off on Sunday.

Curry, 36, was inactive for Golden State’s matchup at home against the
Jazz. It’s only the seventh game he’s missed this year.

“He needed it,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “This is the most
games he’s played in a long time. It’ll serve him well for next week.”

Kerr said the Warriors considered resting Curry against the Mavericks,
on the second night of a back-to-back, but the point guard said he woke
up “feeling great” after Golden State’s win in Houston.

Against the Mavericks, Curry played 35 minutes — more than the 30-32 the
Warriors like to keep him at — in a two-point loss.

Had Klay Thompson’s corner 3 at the buzzer fell instead of
short-rimming, the Warriors would have an even better chance at scaling
up the standings. In that hypothetical, it’s possible Curry suited up
against Utah.

“So that Dallas game, in my mind, shifted things a lot,” Kerr said. “Put
us in a much tougher spot in terms of trying to climb the ladder. So
now, it’s a matter of refocusing and figuring out what’s the best path
forward for our guys.”

A 5-0 finish to the season would still give the Warriors a decent chance
at either the ninth or eighth seed. But it seems like Golden State will
put more of an emphasis on getting their best players healthy and rested
for the play-in than going all-out down the stretch.

That’ll be key, as Golden State’s roster is aging and banged up.
Jonathan Kuminga, who missed the past six games with bilateral knee
tendinitis, returned to the court against Utah. Andrew Wiggins, who’s
dealing with a sprained ankle, was ruled out for a second straight game.
Thompson has recorded his highest game total since suffering his torn
Achilles and torn ACL — he’s missed just three games this season.

If the Warriors make the kind of deep run in the playoffs they believe
they’re capable of, it will likely require winning two sudden death
games on the road before traveling to the top-seeded team’s arena for a
grueling series. The play-in games will likely be played on April 17
and, if applicable, April 19.

Klay Thompson erupts to lead Warriors past Jazz
Advancing up the play-in? There’s still a path for Warriors
Warriors’ win streak ends at buzzer in loss to Mavericks
Luka Doncic out for Mavericks, but Warriors are short-staffed, too
LeBron James’ son, USC’s Bronny James, declares for NBA draft

Curry is at his best when he’s fully rested, and he’ll get three full
days between games by sitting out against the Jazz. He has occasionally
shown signs of fatigue this year, particularly after his ankle sprain.
In the month of March, Curry has shot 43.7% from the field and 38.7%
from deep — both well below his career averages.

The new officiating trends that have allowed more contact to go
unpunished also appear to have affected Curry. In one recent five-game
stretch, Curry attempted just five total foul shots even while absorbing
an abundance of contact on drives.

Curry has played 71 games this regular season — his highest total since
2016-17, when he was 28.

“What Steph does is superhuman,” Kerr said. “I think his most underrated
quality is his endurance and his strength and his ability to fly around
like he does. Absorb all the defensive pressure that teams are putting
on him. Everyone puts him in pick and rolls to try to wear him down so
he doesn’t kill them offensively. And he just keeps himself in
immaculate condition.”

sport / / BANG: ‘He needed it’: Why Warriors decided to rest Steph Curry against Jazz


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