DENVER — Spurs coach Gregg Popovich used to catch warmth for resting his veteran stars on the again finish of lengthy, grueling street journeys. He’d get letters from followers who have been indignant about paying full value for tickets however not getting to see the complete product.Popovich understood the followers’ frustrations, however he had different priorities. It was his job to do what was proper for the Spurs — not them. When the schedule will get difficult down the stretch, generally veterans who play heavy minutes want an evening off to recharge.
Don’t blame Pop. Blame the NBA’s schedule-makers.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was in an analogous scenario forward of Monday’s makeup game towards the Nuggets. Golden State followers in Denver most likely hoped to see Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins take the courtroom inside Ball Arena. But these three did not make the journey due to the tough place the league put the Warriors in. And neither did Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II and James Wiseman, due to their accidents. And Otto Porter Jr. was dominated out earlier than tipoff due to normal sickness.
The schedule doesn’t get simpler this week. On Tuesday, the workforce returns to San Francisco to face the Clippers, then has to journey again to Denver Wednesday for one more game towards the Nuggets Thursday. The Nuggets are additionally in a tricky spot; Monday was Denver’s third game prior to now 4 nights in the course of a four-in-five stretch of their schedule.
“(The league) reached out, however they actually weren’t open for any suggestions,” stated Nuggets coach Michael Malone.
“It’s only a very, very dense a part of the schedule. The league type of gave us the heads up that ‘that is what it is going to be,’ not likely ‘what would you guys like to do?’ ”
Kerr stated his Warriors have it so much worse.
“It places us in a means more durable spot than them,” Kerr stated. “We have to fly right here once more. They did not have to make an additional journey. They have to play a back-to-back, I do know. But this was simply one other in lots of rescheduled video games across the league which might be inconvenient for everyone however obligatory to maintain the league going. So you simply do what you have got to do.”
Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Moses Moody, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Kevon Looney began Monday towards the Nuggets. And with Curry, Thompson, Wiggins and Porter Jr. out, Monday’s game was a chance for gamers who’ve been out of the rotation in latest weeks.
It additionally gave Kerr an opportunity for somewhat little bit of experimentation, unavoidable given the quick bench.
“I’m excited to see Chris Chiozza play,” Kerr stated. “He performed an enormous function for us early within the season, however he hasn’t performed as of late as a result of he is not playoff eligible. We’ve been focusing extra on postseason combos and that type of factor. But bear in mind, he helped us win plenty of video games early on together with his pace and on-ball defensive stress. So I’m actually enthusiastic about enjoying (Chris) and for guys like (Nemanja) Bjelica and Lee who’ve fallen out of the rotation, for them to get an opportunity to play.”
C.J. Holmes covers the Warriors for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: