Steve Kerr’s Bizarre Reason for Reducing Stephen Curry’s Minutes

Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, Warriors, NBA
Feb 15, 2024; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) and head coach Steve Kerr talk on the sideline during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at Delta Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 NBA regular season has not gone according to plan for the Golden State Warriors. Instead of being contenders in the Western Conference, they are in danger of missing the postseason altogether.

After losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night, the Warriors are only one game ahead of the Houston Rockets for the final spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament in the Western Conference. Not even having the opportunity to play their way into the postseason field would be a catastrophic failure by the franchise.

The pressure is on for the Warriors to start playing at a high level, but Sunday gave no indication they will be capable of achieving such a goal. Especially if head coach Steve Kerr makes the bizarre decision to limit and monitor the minutes of superstar Stephen Curry.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors Updates

Inexplicably, Curry played only 29:51 on Sunday, with the Warriors going +6 in those minutes in a 114-110 loss. The limited minutes were not something Curry was happy about, as he took some shots at his coach after the game for how he managed the rotation. When speaking after the game, Kerr defended the decision he made, but the reasoning behind the moves was bizarre.

“We’re trying to keep them around 30,” Kerr said of Curry’s minutes. “Trying to get him as much rest as we can. We’ve played him a lot of minutes, played him 35 two days ago. So as long as we were hanging in there, we wanted to limit the minutes a little bit. Not overplay him.”

In must-win situations, as games are as important as every now for the Warriors, Kerr decides he needs to limit the playing time of his best player. That is the exact opposite of how things normally function, as this time of the season would be when players ask their players for a little more to get help over the finish line.

Kerr continued, saying he doesn’t believe Curry playing a few less minutes against the Timberwolves was the difference in the game.

“We’ve put the burden of this franchise on his shoulders for 15 years. We 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 minutes instead of 32 was the difference between a win and a loss, I totally disagree with that. We’re trying to win the game, we’re trying to keep him fresh, too.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr, Golden State Warriors Updates

What is Kerr looking to keep Curry fresh for? Pick up games in the summer or a vacation in late April, because the Warriors are trending toward missing the postseason altogether and beginning their offseason earlier than anyone would like.

He may not believe it, but Curry playing two minutes minutes against Minnesota could have certainly changed the outcome of that game. Inserting him into the game with the team down two or four instead of eight could have certainly changed the final outcome.

“We’ve got Chris Paul out there,” Kerr said. “We’ve got Klay, we’ve got Draymond. We’ve got great players out there. We can’t expect to just ride Steph game after game. These last few weeks have been really tough.”

Curry is healthy, willing and able to contribute and help the team win games. He desperately wants to win and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. Kerr mentioned the other players the team has to rely on, but they have proven throughout the 2023-24 NBA season, that they are not as successful without Curry in the mix.

It is organizational malpractice not having Curry on the court as much as he says he can handle with the games being as important as they are. Kerr isn’t putting the team in the best position to succeed scaling Curry’s minutes back while watching his team’s lead disappear.

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