Steve Kerr caused a stir Saturday night, when he decided to rest Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala on national television against the Spurs. San Antonio, who was also missing Kawhi Leonard (concussion) and LaMarcus Aldridge (irregular heartbeat), won by 22.
The Warriors were winding down a vicious stretch of five games in seven nights and were coming off a nail biting loss Friday in Minnesota. Some have defended Kerr’s strategy, but many have criticized him, including Sirius XM’s Brian Geltzeiler Monday morning on KNBR 1050’s The Audible.
“It was an atrocious idea. I think it was an embarrassment to the league. It was shameful,” Geltzeiler said. “Not only do I not think it was the right thing to do — as far as the fans are concerned, and as far as the league and TV partners — I think it was a bad thing to do for the Warriors. You essentially, in a game where the Spurs did not have their best two players on the floor, threw a game that not only allowed them to tie you in the loss column for the No. 1 seed, but also to allow them to have the tie breaker over you, because of only three meetings this year.
“You combine that with the fact that you look at the landscape of the Western Conference, if you’re in the one seed, you’re going to get a cupcake in the first round. You’re going to get a cream puff. And whether it’s Denver, or it’s Portland, whether it’s Dallas. You have in the seventh seed right now, I know they’ve lost five in a row, but if I’m the Warriors, I don’t want to see Memphis in the first round having beaten them twice already in the regular season. I just think this is a bad idea 10 ways and going by Steve Kerr. And for an organization that does a fantastic job of being PR conscious, for the most part, they have had a horrific 72 hours.”
Geltzeiler suggested he would’ve rested players Friday night in Minnesota instead of against the Spurs. The Warriors have now lost three in a row for the first time since 2013 and are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Since Kevin Durant injured his leg on Feb. 28 against the Wizards, Golden State has a 2-5 record.
“Listen, it was a rough road trip. But you know what? A lot of teams have rough road trips. The Spurs had a rough road trip earlier in the season. (The) Lakers and Clippers are sent out of Staples Center for a Grammy’s trip every year. It’s been a rough trip. The fact that they have to fly back to the Bay Area Wednesday night to play Boston, only to go back out on the road, yes, that was difficult. So if Steve Kerr wants to pick the night to rest them, pick Friday night against Minnesota. That’s a much more appropriate time to rest them.”