Steve Kerr on Warriors resting four starters against Cavaliers: ‘It’s a brutal part of the job’

After taking on the Boston Celtics on national television Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors rested four starters for the second night of back-to-back games against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Friday. This means that NBA fans in Cleveland don’t have the chance to see entertainment stars like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green this season, as the Warriors only play in Cleveland once a year.

It also means that fans who bought tickets ahead of time didn’t necessarily see the product they paid for. Warriors coach Steve Kerr sympathizes with those fans and thinks he has a solid solution for the league — reducing the regular season schedule by 10 games, from 82 to 72.

“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets expecting to see someone play and not see that person play. It’s a brutal part of the business. That’s why I’m going to continue to push for 72-game seasons,” Kerr said before Friday’s game. “I know. that it means less revenue, but at some point, I think there needs to be an awareness of everyone involved — the league, the players, the coaches, the coaching staff. Let’s be really smart. Let’s take care of these guys and play less games and the overall quality of the game will be better, and if so, the revenue will go up anyway.”

Resting stars has been a hot topic in the NBA in recent years, and it has reached a peak this season as teams seem to be constantly missing key contributors. But according to Kerr, the data shows that resting players, especially on the second night of a doubleheader, is a safe bet, so the Warriors will continue to err on the side of caution, even if it means disappointing some fans along the way.

“I know it’s a big topic around the league. We have so much more data, so much more awareness of player vulnerability,” Kerr said. “It’s been proven that guys are more likely to get hurt and miss more games if guys are hitting back-to-back, so that’s why you see it all over the league. Everybody’s wary when a guy gets hit up there. You’re just playing the long game. .. We’re going to play it safe all year long as long as guys are tired and injury-prone.”

You can see Kerr’s full comments on the subject below:

The NBA recently made changes to the schedule to reduce the number of back-to-back games and the total amount of travel, but clearly there is still work to be done on that front. Maybe that means reducing the number of games, as Kerr suggested, or maybe it means extending the length of the season to space the games a bit more apart. Something definitely needs to be done, because at this point it seems that two teams playing against each other with full squads is an anomaly, not the norm, and that shouldn’t be the case.

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