Steve Kerr and the Warriors have been tinkering with Steph Curry's rotation this season, trying to keep the two-time MVP fresh while also making sure he is on the court when Golden State needs him the most.
For years, Curry would play the entire first and third quarters while sitting for the first six minutes of the second and fourth quarters. The new plan is to take Curry out in the middle of each quarter so that he is on the floor at the beginning and end of each frame. That new subpattern also allows Curry to play the entire fourth quarter if needed, as he did Thursday in the Warriors' 104-89 comeback win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Playing the entire fourth quarter was a welcome sight, but Curry still isn't wild on the rotation change.
"Yes and no," Curry said after the win when asked if he was embracing the new pattern (h/t Anthony Slater). "Just trying to understand that this is how it is now and trying to be efficient when I am out there. You know, at the end of the third quarter we didn't have a lot of momentum and at the start of the fourth coach was like, 'You know, if you do get it going we are able to make the adjustment and keep you out there.' I just try to understand that is the rotation for right now and just be locked in on how I can be efficient."
But does Curry see this as an occasional benefit of the new pattern?
"For sure, but I still didn't get over that magical 36 [minutes] number," Curry said with a smile.
Facing a Cavs team without Evan Mobley, Collin Sexton, Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen, the Warriors fell behind early and trailed by 13 after three quarters. But Curry turned it on in the fourth, scoring 20 of his 40 points to lead the Warriors to a 104-89 win.
Curry's rotation is sure to change again once Klay Thompson returns, but for now, Kerr believes the Warriors have found a good flow with their rotation.
"He’s gotten used to it, and what I like about it is that it allows him to start and finish every quarter," Kerr said Wednesday. "He’s so good at the end of quarters, 2-for-1’s, half-court shots. We saw him make one in Charlotte the other night. Starting every quarter is important too. Starting the second and fourth, I think is really good for this particular group that we have. I think it's working well so far.”