Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is friends with San Antonio Spurs head man Gregg Popovich. Having played under Pop for four seasons in San Antonio, he also learned a lot about coaching from the five-time NBA champion.
With Kerr’s Warriors now at 62-6, they are 11 wins from breaking his old Chicago Bulls NBA record of 73 wins in a single season. Three more games against the 58-10 Spurs stand in the way, the first of the bunch Saturday night in San Antonio.
Following Golden State’s 130-112 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, Kerr attempted to go all Pop in front of the media:
Steve Kerr said Andrew Bogut probably won't play tomorrow in San Antonio. "If I had any guts, I'd sit everybody."
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) March 19, 2016
This is in reference to the Spurs continually sitting multiple starters throughout the season, including the decision to rest Tim Duncan in the team’s 30-point loss to the Warriors earlier this season.
Taking a page from his old coach’s playbook, Kerr did in fact rest key players in the second half of the Warriors’ eventual championship campaign last season. The only real issue this year is that they have yet to lock up the top seed because of San Antonio’s stellar season.
Though, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli will all be out with legitimate injuries when Golden State takes on the Spurs Saturday evening. That could end up being somewhat of an issue for the defending champs.
Also an issue. Golden State has not won a regular season game in San Antonio since February of 1997:
Starting lineups the last time the Warriors won a regular season game in San Antonio pic.twitter.com/wBUfddrkT5
— warriorsworld (@warriorsworld) March 19, 2016
Maybe resting their starters might be worthwhile for the Warriors after all. It’s not like any other strategy over the past two decades has worked here.