Warriors

Steve Kerr knows Warriors must 'begin to manage' Steph Curry's minutes

Steve Kerr knows Warriors must 'begin to manage' Steph Curry's minutes

Restarting a dynasty never is easy, and the Warriors will face many new challenges next season as they look to return to greatness after a pause year at the bottom of the NBA.

Among the new set of obstacles for coach Steve Kerr is something he hasn't needed to worry about in the past: managing Steph Curry's workload.

As Curry enters his age-32 season, Kerr knows it will be his staff's responsibility to make sure his superstar isn't overworked during the season, suggesting the Warriors will implement a version of the Celtics' "KG Plan," which Boston used toward the end of Kevin Garnett's tenure.

“Now, (Curry’s) at the point where he’s been at the peak of his powers for the last couple of years,” Kerr said on The Athletic's "Hoops, Adjacent" podcast. “If anything, it’s on us to try to begin to manage his minutes. We’ve always been really blessed. We’ve been able to do that because of the talent on our team. We’ve never really run Steph into the ground.

"We don’t have as much depth as we once did. It’s on us as a coaching staff to make sure we get him his rest every night, and we’re not wearing him out.”

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

For the Celtics, that plan meant Garnett spending five minutes on the court and then five minutes on the bench. They tried to stick to that plan as diligently as possible during the 2011-12 season, but eventually, they needed Garnett to play more down the stretch and in the playoffs.

The Warriors' plan for Curry unlikely will be as regimented as Garnett's was in 2012. As Kerr noted, the Warriors no longer have the depth they once did, so even more will be placed on Curry and Klay Thompson's shoulders as they try to resurrect a dynasty that was brought down by injuries and exhaustion in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

After playing just five games this past season, Curry no doubt is champing at the bit to return and prove that he and the Warriors should not be cast aside yet. Managing Curry's minutes will be important to keep him fresh for what the Warriors hope is an extended playoff run, but it's clear they will have to ask him to shoulder a heavier load in order to accomplish their goals.

[RELATED: How Steph feels about Warriors playing in NBA's second bubble]

A critical offseason now faces the Warriors. After sinking to the bottom of the NBA, the Warriors will have a top-five draft pick and a $17.2 million trade exception to use to bolster the roster around Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green.

Returning to the unprecedented level of greatness they once enjoyed is too much to ask of Curry and the Warriors. You don't simply absorb the massive blow of losing Kevin Durant and return to that level.

But the Warriors will return to the court rested and healthy in December when the next season is expected to begin, and they should automatically return to contender status atop a now-loaded Western Conference.

Curry wants to prove that the Warriors' dynasty isn't done. For the Warriors to succeed in returning to the top of the NBA, though, it's important Kerr makes sure the two-time league MVP isn't worn down by the weight he's asked to carry.

How Steph Curry feels watching brother Seth in NBA bubble restart

How Steph Curry feels watching brother Seth in NBA bubble restart

Seth Curry has gotten accustomed to watching his brother Steph make deep runs in the NBA playoffs year after year, as the Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals in each of the past five seasons.

But 2019-20 saw the script flipped for the Curry family, as Seth and his Dallas Mavericks will be among the eight Western Conference teams in the 2019-20 postseason, while Steph and Golden State finished at the bottom of the West standings, going 15-50 before the NBA's suspension of the season in March.

“For most of my career, I’m usually the one who’s been home watching Steph late in the season,” Seth told the New York Times' Marc Stein. “Now it’s the other way around and I’m still at work. I can tell it’s a little tough on him.”

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph did tell Stein that he's felt a bit of "FOMO" about the Warriors not being among the 22 NBA teams initially chosen to play in the NBA's restart in Orlando, Fla.

“Obviously I was happy to see basketball back on TV, but that first week I had major FOMO (fear of missing out),” he told The New York Times' Marc Stein on Sunday night. "Once you see Bron (LeBron James) and Kawhi (Leonard) and P.G. (Paul George) go at it, and you remember how much fun it is to play in those types of games and that kind of level, you miss it badly."

The two-time MVP played in just five games this season after breaking his hand early in the season, and with fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson missing the entire season while rehabbing from a torn ACL, there wasn't much hope for a return to the NBA Finals this season.

[RELATED: Why Bazemore-Warriors reunion in free agency makes sense]

Hypothetically getting nine months to recover before the 2020-21 season will be critical for Thompson and Curry after so many extra postseason games over the past five years.

It's not surprising that the hyper-competitive Steph would be a bit jealous of his brother, but he also told Stein he could see himself trekking to Orlando with his family to watch Seth and the Mavericks if they can advance out of the first round of the playoffs.

Warriors' Steph Curry 'had major FOMO' when NBA bubble games started

Warriors' Steph Curry 'had major FOMO' when NBA bubble games started

This probably won't come as a surprise to you, but Steph Curry truly enjoys playing basketball.

Crazy, right?

The three-time NBA champion -- who was limited to just five games during the 2019-20 NBA season because of a broken left hand -- misses competing against the best players in the world.

So when the seeding games in the Orlando bubble began July 30, Steph was a little conflicted.

“Obviously I was happy to see basketball back on TV, but that first week I had major FOMO (fear of missing out),” he told The New York Times' Marc Stein on Sunday night. "Once you see Bron (LeBron James) and Kawhi (Leonard) and P.G. (Paul George) go at it, and you remember how much fun it is to play in those types of games and that kind of level, you miss it badly."

Unfortunately for the two-time NBA MVP, it's unclear exactly when he will get a chance to take the court again with actual stakes on the line. With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, nobody truly knows when the 2020-21 campaign will begin.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

But whenever next season does commence, he and his teammates will be ready to rock and roll.

“Our roster kind of speaks for itself in terms of what me, Klay (Thompson) and Draymond (Green) have been through, and what we’ve got left in the tank,” Steph told Stein. “But it’s on us to use this time wisely.

"It’s just unchartered territory, whether you’re in the bubble or not.”

[RELATED: Why Bazemore-Warriors reunion in free agency makes sense]

As for the aforementioned FOMO, how is the 32-year-old dealing with it?

"Curry said he relies on all the bonus family time he’s getting with his wife, Ayesha, and their three children, business endeavors and then special occasions like Sunday’s P.G.A. outing," Stein wrote.

And when it comes to business endeavors, Steph reportedly soon will be getting his own brand at Under Armour. So having some extra time on his hands to handle those details certainly can't hurt.

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