OAKLAND -- The Rest Night rotation ends Wednesday night for the Warriors, when Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will watch their teammates close the regular season against a Lakers team with no incentive for victory.
“Andre, it just doesn’t make sense to play him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s in a good groove and he could use a day off. And what I’ve found with Draymond is if the game is meaningless, then so is Draymond.”
Though Kerr added that he was “kidding” about Green, the coach also acknowledged there is at least a modicum of truth to his comment.
“Draymond needs some stakes,” Kerr said. “He needs the competition. He needs the game to be meaningful. Last night, there just wasn’t enough competitive fire in the game itself to bring the most out of Draymond. I’d rather give him the night off. He agrees.
“When there’s something at stake, there’s not a better competitor in the game. When the game is like it was last night, and what it’ll be like tomorrow, I actually worry about some guys because they’re not in flow of things. They’re not in the mix. I’d rather sit them both out and play our younger guys.”
Green was among several Warriors who played well below their standards in a 105-99 loss to Utah Monday night at Oracle Arena. Green totaled five points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block. He was minus-13 over 25 minutes.
Iguodala, the Warriors player most consistently in the “plus” category, was minus-2 over 23 minutes.
There will be no lack of motive for the Warriors after Wednesday night, though. They open the first round of the playoffs this weekend at Oracle Arena against Portland in a series likely to begin Saturday.
“The great thing with Draymond is you know he’s going to have it in Game 1 of the playoffs,” Kerr said. “And that’s what matters.”
Meanwhile, Game 82 will serve to provide Kevin Durant with one more opportunity to tune-up while also giving reserves James Michael McAdoo and Ian Clark a few more minutes. McAdoo conceivably will start for Green.