Prior to the start of the season, coach Steve Kerr said that they would take a more measured approach to rest by staggering who sits out. Tonight, the Golden State Warriors are going to host the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves without Kevin Durant.
Although he is supposedly sitting out due to a bruised thigh, this is almost certainly about strategically resting Durant. With tonight off, followed by two off days, Durant will get a nice break before returning to action on Saturday.
Kevin Durant (left thigh contusion) will be inactive for tonight's game vs. Minnesota.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) November 8, 2017
So the fun question approaching tonight's game was: who’s going to start in his place??
If we are going off of last season’s data, the answer would almost certainly be Patrick McCaw — rogue candidate for MVP and Nate Parham’s personal idol.
But it’s a new season and Kerr has some interesting new options. Omri Casspi would be an interesting addition to the starting lineup but would probably have a harder time keeping up the the Wolves’ whip-thin and lightning quick, Andrew Wiggins. Same goes for Nick Young. He’s struggled a bit (ok, maybe a lot?) but has had one really good shooting game. Exactly the sort of weird “instill confidence in everyone” ethos that Kerr would employ here makes me think this is the dark horse candidate to get the start.
But then you have the truly wacky solutions: what about Kevon Looney, could he cover Wiggins? Or let’s go crazy in the other direction and slot in Jordan Bell. Bell has done well in his starts and even though it doesn’t seem like a natural fit, could easily cover Wolves power forward Taj Gibson - assuming Draymond Green then bumps down into the Small Forward spot to start.
Ultimately, Kerr went with the more tame selection of former All-Star and NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
Tonight's starters: GSW - Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Green, Pachulia; MIN - Teague, Wiggins, Butler, Gibson, Towns— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) November 9, 2017
Surprising yet boring at the same time, but another sign of just how deep this team is.