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Purposefully short-handed Warriors lose in Denver to Nuggets

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Steve Kerr took another page out of the Spurs' gamebook. Turns out Steph, Klay, Bogut and Iguodala are pretty important.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it seems a motion-based offense isn't the only trick Steve Kerr learned from Gregg Popovich.

On the first of back to back games (second game tonight versus the New York Knickerbockers), Kerr sat Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala.

That's a lot of experience and star power sitting on ye ol' pine.

The Warriors starting five looked like this:

Harrison Barnes - SF - 223 Games Played in Career (GP) - 169 Games Started in Career (GS)

Draymond Green - PF - 225 GP - 77 GS

David Lee - C - 683 GP - 487 GS

Justin Holiday - SG - 52 GP - 1 GS (Way to go Justin! Woot Woot! First career start! Yeah boiiiiii)

Shaun Livingston - PG - 528 GP - 178 GS.

Total games played from this lineup: 1,711. Total Games Started: 912

For comparison:

Stephen Curry - 398 GP - 392 GS

Andrew Bogut - 556 GP - 546 GS

Klay Thompson - 291 GP - 254 GS

(and even though he isn't starting this year) Andre Iguodala - 818 GP - 758 GS

Our normal starting five would have had a total of 1,689 GP and 1,434 GS headed into last night's match.

A slight decrease in games played (David Lee and Shaun Livingston have been in the league for a long time), but a noticeable uptick in games started.

Anyways, #numbers.

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The David Lee versus Kenneth "Manimal" Faried matchup was particularly jocular.

I went looking for highlights and found this recap of game six from the 2013 playoff series.

Man...

REMEMBER WHEN DAVID LEE CAME BACK FROM A TORN HIP FLEXOR??

He is a true Warrior. I know times have been tough, and he's been racking up DNP-CD's like trophy kills on Big Buck Hunter, but much respect to D'Lee.

Just watching those highlights made me shiver in anticipation of the playoffs.

Let's get through this regular season healthy and inspired and as fresh as possible--and then let's yellow out Oracle and scream at the opponent until our faces melt.

Anyways, back to the matter at hand--David Lee and Faried were going at it back and forth back and forth one spin move to another floppy dread flying dunk or what have you until with 7:44 left in the third quarter, this happened:

On reddit.com/r/nba, the person who posted this highlight ("sicklyfe" ooookay there.. I guess that could be like, sick life? Or, maybe, sickly fe? As in Santa Fe? Maybe they are worried about some sort of virulent outbreak in New Mexico? Oh, internet, why do you only ever raise more questions??) aptly wrote as a headline: "Faried swats away David Lee's hopes and dreams."

Yup.

Silver Linings:

Justin Holiday in, as mentioned previously, his first start, scored a career high 23 points! Get some, Justin.

James Michael McAdoo, who I like to refer to as James Michael "Anything You Can Do I Can McAdoo Better," was recalled from Santa Cruz and had a fine, fine game himself.

Shout out to youtuber "DownToBuck" for making those videos so quickly. Again, where do these internet names come from??! [[Update: I guess maybe the individual is a Milwaukee fan, which helps explain?]]

Shout out to Melvin Hunt, holding it down in Denver after the players turned on Brian Shaw (shame, shame and more shame), famously leading Mr. Kevin Garnett to say this:

Dang KG! "A quitter is a quitter."

Whew!

Well, unfortunately, the Nuggets did not quit on this slip-shod Warriors team last night.

Trailing most of the game, the Warriors made a late run--leading in the fourth quarter--but came up short in the end when it mattered. (Getting back to the #numbers from the beginning of this piece in regards to career games started: you could easily say that the players on the floor were not used to closing out games. Not used to playing these kind of minutes, not used to being on the floor at the end. FWIW - the lineup that built and then lost the seven point lead was Livingston, Ezeli, McAdoo, Holiday and Barbosa. David Lee and Brandon Rush checked in for Barbosa and Ezeli with 5:28 remaining, and then Barbosa checked back in for Rush with 3:30 left.)

"Overall, it was a terrific effort," Kerr said. "Just kind of ran out of gas."

With 29 seconds left in the third quarter, the Dubs took their first lead of the game when "I Can McAdoo Better" dunked. They went up by as much as seven points with 7:21 remaining.

But Denver finished on a 25-7 run, ending up winning the game by 11.

Final Score: 114 - 103

Better luck next time, fellas.

Oh, right, that's tonight.

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Side Note #1, somewhat unrelated:

Does this picture of Steph terrify everyone else as much as it terrifies me?? Some cosmic combination of "Everlasting Heart Explosion Love for the Earth and all Living Things" and "Ares-God of War". Sheesh.

[[photo is a screen shot from warriors.com]]

Side Note #2, completely unrelated:

Perhaps he's playing an intricate game of hide-and-seek in the inner hallways of the Kremlin?