Warriors’ Timing For Rest Is Anything But Golden
We've all been there. We need a day off from work. It's a grind, it's tough, and we all need to step away from it every once in awhile.
Other than than the massive pay difference, NBA players are pretty much exactly like us in that regard. The 82-game NBA season is a grueling test, a challenge in perseverance and conditioning, arguably made somewhat monotonous by the monopoly the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have built over the past couple of seasons. So it's only natural some of the better stars would want a day off, kept fresh for the upcoming playoffs.
But one thing you can't do is take a day off during a big day at the office. And that's exactly what Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will be doing for what was once a highly anticipated tilt with the San Antonio Spurs (8:30 EST, ABC).
The Spurs are our best, and probably only, from switching things up in the NBA Finals this summer, a lone hope to break the routine of the Cavs and Warriors in the final segment of the tournament. San Antonio currently sits a game and a half behind the Warriors for the top spot in the West, certainly aided by Golden State's loss of Kevin Durant to injury.
The Warriors are mired in perhaps the worst regular season stretch they've had in the past four years, having dropped four of their past six, timed up with an unusual stretch where they've played seven of their past eight on the road. Head coach Steve Kerr, speaking with the media after last night's bitter 103-102 loss to Minnesota, said the move was made purely as a health precaution, though last night's declaration was overshadowed by controversial comments made by Iguodala.
To reiterate, there is nothing wrong the mere concept of resting players, and as long as the NBA continues with its 82 game schedule, an institution that will never change as long as it's taking money out of the owners' pockets, the trend of resting guys will continue. Teams have been employing the tactic for years, including the respected Spurs, who had fun with the concept, humorously listing veteran guys like Tim Duncan as not playing due to "Old Age" on the scoresheet.
But, again, you can't be skipping your biggest days at the office, and Golden State has a huge meeting tonight.
Many have penciled in Golden State and San Antonio as the expected Western Conference Finals matchup, and home court advantage will be huge. Last season, the two team lost a combined three games at their respective homes of Oracle Arena and AT&T Center, and it could come in handy when it comes to that epic hypothetical series. Rest days shouldn't be used for late season big games against behemoths like the Spurs. Rest the All-Stars against the depths of the Association. The Suns, the Nets, the Magic, the Lakers...heck, the Warriors could've waited one more game for the rest, as a home date with the 76ers arrive in Oakland for a Tuesday night tilt. The rest could've also been afforded in last night's Timberwolves game, or even against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
But against the Spurs? That's a no-no.
Golden State is still trying to restore its reputation after the disastrous final four games of the Finals last season. The past six games have done nothing to quell the storm of relentless critics, and sending out a lineup headlined by Zaza Pachulia, David West and JaVale McGee against their biggest competition in swiping the Larry O'Brien trophy from Cleveland, is not going to help matters one bit.
Like most of the intricacies of basketball, rest is something taken for granted outside the game, a mere afterthought to the naked eye. But when handled right, it can work wonders for a team, leading them to an elusive NBA title.
Golden State's intentions are fine and well. But to speak in another basketball trope, the timing is all off.
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