Steve Kerr Defends Playing Stephen Curry Less Than 30 Minutes In Loss To Timberwolves

The head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr has explained why Stephen Curry played under 30 minutes in their 110-114 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“We’re trying to keep him around 30 (minutes). Trying to get him as much rest as we can. He’s played a lot of minutes, played 35 (minutes) a few days ago. As long as we were hanging in there, we wanted to limit the numbers and not overplay him.”

Kerr also explained why he’s making it a point to play Steph fewer minutes, citing fixture congestion in the next week along with dismissing his limited minutes as the reason behind tonight’s loss.

“We can’t expect to ride Steph game after game. These last few weeks have been very tough. We’ve put the burden of the franchise on his shoulders for 15 years. You can’t expect him to play 35 minutes.

“We’ve got five games in seven days on this road trip. If you want to say him playing 30 or 32 minutes was the difference in a win or a loss, I totally disagree. We’re trying to win the game but also keep him fresh.”

Curry scored 31 points in tonight’s game, going 9-23 from the field in his 29:50 minutes on the court. This echoes the same problems the Lakers faced in October when they wanted to limit LeBron James, but the team was incapable of defending leads without him.

The Warriors kept it close against an injured Wolves squad but failed to maximize a golden opportunity. If Curry was on the floor for even two more minutes, you never know if the Warriors would have scored enough in that stretch to earn the win on a night Anthony Edwards was unimpressive.

The Warriors are no longer just fighting to climb up to the No. 6 or No. 8 seed. They have been put in a position where they need to defend the No. 10 seed against the red-hot Houston Rockets, who have won their last eight games in a row. They’re currently just one game behind the Warriors, with the franchises playing each other on April 1.

The 36-34 Warriors are currently two games behind the No. 9 seed Lakers, regardless of the outcome of Lakers vs. Pacers tonight. The swing could change to 2.5 games with a Lakers win or 1.5 games with a Lakers loss, so the Warriors will wake up tomorrow and have the Rockets as their biggest immediate standings rival.

Curry has averaged 26.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.9 assists this season. While these numbers are phenomenal, there has been a noticeable drop-off in Curry’s production this season, with more inconsistency seeping in. Curry has had multiple single-digit games with no three-pointers made, a concept that would have been laughable if you told fans at the start of the season.

Missing the play-in could force the Warriors into much-needed changes that have been a long time coming. Steve Kerr likely remains the coach after signing an extension this season, but an 11th-seed finish could complicate the future of impending free agent Klay Thompson dramatically as well.



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