The Golden State Warriors dropped the first four games of their road trip. Now they’re dropping four of their starters for the final game of the trip.
The Warriors are resting Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins tonight in New Orleans. Fifth game of a five-game road trip. Second night of back-to-back. In danger of going 0-5.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 4, 2022
Of the starters, only Iron Man Kevon Looney will play against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight. Anyone who’s made an All-Star team is sitting out, which includes Andre Iguodala, who’s been sitting out all year. In the second game of a back-to-back, in the fifth road game in seven days, Steve Kerr seems to be waving the white flag on a winless road trip. It’s early, and three of those guys are getting old.
It could also be an interesting motivational tactic. Last night, Kerr spoke about changing rotations, saying, “Everybody’s gonna get a chance to play. We’ve got guys who are dying to get on the floor, and we’ve got to find combinations that play.” Well, everyone dying to get on the floor will get a chance to do so tonight, whether it’s Jonathan Kuminga, Patrick Baldwin Jr., or Ryan Rollins. Any bench guys who haven’t gotten a chance so far this year? Here’s 48 minutes to prove yourself.
It’s a common tactic from both Gregg Popovich – notorious for resting multiple starters in the same road games – and Phil Jackson, who famously went to an all-bench-plus-Scottie-Pippen lineup to trigger a comeback in Game Six of the 1992 Finals. Sometimes opportunity creates motivation, especially when the reserves know that, just as Kerr also said last night, “No one is coming to save us.”
What’s the motivation beyond resting the starters and shaking things up? Well, the Warriors have an old friend who doesn’t seem happy about the films his teammate has been sharing on social media. He’d also been talking all summer about changing jobs and relocating. Perhaps this game could be a way to show their friend’s employers that the Warriors’ young assets would be a good replacement for him on a long-term basis, for example a 20-year-old forward who manages to hold his own against Zion Williamson.
Get ready for some quality bench play, Warriors fans! And an 0-5 road trip. Let’s hope they let Klay and Steph drink their Hurricanes on the bench while they watch the show.