Steve Kerr defends sitting starters, wants shorter season
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors' Steve Kerr defends decision to sit starters on back-to-back, pushes for 72-game season

Following a grueling overtime loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided to rest four of five starters Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Ahead of the Warriors' tilt with the Cavaliers, Kerr defended the team's approach to load management, stating that the team is simply playing the "long game." 

"I know it's a big topic around the league," Kerr told reporters. "We have so much more data, so much more awareness of players' vulnerability. It's proven that guys banged up - back-to-backs - players are much more likely to get injured and miss more games. That's why you're seeing leaguewide everybody is being cautious when a guy is banged up."

Load management is nothing new in the NBA, but it is a growing trend. Kerr said that, along with the players, they've figured out how to prolong careers and, most importantly, ensure availability for the playoffs. 

However, it is a hard sell to NBA fans who pay money to see Steph Curry only to find he's sitting out after playing the night before. Kerr understands this, so he's calling for the NBA to trim 10 games off the regular-season schedule. 

The biggest obstacle toward a 72-game NBA season is the obvious loss of revenue. However, Kerr says that would eventually take care of itself if the league and teams invested fully in its players' health.  

"Let's take care of these guys and play fewer games," Kerr said. "The overall quality of the game will be better, and if that's the case, revenue is going to go up anyway."

It's hard to argue with Kerr's logic and the Warriors' approach to keeping the team's best fresh. Entering Friday night a game below .500 (22-23), the Warriors can ill afford a long-term injury to one of its stars if they hope to contend in the Western Conference. 

However, on the flip side, it's also hard to believe the Warriors couldn't devise a plan that didn't involve sitting four of its top players for Friday night's contest in Cleveland.

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