Sometimes people wonder who influenced Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr more - Phil Jackson, or Gregg Popovich? The news about tonight’s road trip finale against the Detroit Pistons strongly suggests Kerr subscribes to Coach Pop’s philosophy regarding rest.
Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter are all out for the Warriors tonight in Detroit. Big rest night at the end of the road trip.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 19, 2021
Andre Iguodala also sat out the first half of the Warriors’ back-to-back last night in Cleveland with right knee soreness, but really for load management purposes. Hey, he’s the second-oldest player in the league, behind only Miami Heat player-coach-enforcer Udonis Haslem. If the team wants to give him four days off, this is an ideal place in the schedule to do it.
Steph Curry played almost the entire fourth quarter in Thursday’s win over the Cavs. That, plus a hip contusion caused by a collision with James Harden Tuesday night, presumably when Harden was flailing around trying to get a foul call, made tonight an ideal rest night. The Pistons’ 4-10 record was probably a factor as well, although they’re 4-5 in games where top pick Cade Cunningham plays.
Draymond Green is officially out with a right thigh contusion, an injury he suffered against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. It didn’t cause Green to miss the four games he started since the injury, but maybe it flared up. But probably he’s simply getting a night off, back in his home state. Otto Porter Junior is out for “left foot injury management,” because the NBA makes teams give a reason beyond, “This guy gets hurt a lot and he played 20 minutes last night.”
This means the scoring burden will fall on Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole tonight, and of course, the ground-bound rebound king, Kevon Looney. It also means fans should be treated to a matchup of top young prospects: Detroit has Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, and Killian Hayes, while the Warriors should give some run to Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. And of course, Jordan Poole is still only 22!
It also likely means extended playing time for two players who helped drive the Warriors’ comeback last night, Damion Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson. Both have ended up on the periphery of the Dubs’ deep rotation this season, and tonight is a nice time to reward these hard-working young men.
Another reason for the rest may be to keep Draymond away from Pistons tough guy Rodney McGruder.
“When the %@&# did Rodney McGruder become the tough guy of the team?”
The Warriors and Pistons tip off at 4:30 PM from Little Caesars Arena.