Warriors

Steve Kerr responds to notion Andre Iguodala's hip strain a white lie

Steve Kerr responds to notion Andre Iguodala's hip strain a white lie

On Tuesday morning, the Warriors announced that Andre Iguodala would not play against the Mavs because of a left hip strain

"I would go with 'hip' every single night I was looking to rest a player from now on," 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce said to Steve Kerr on Wednesday. "A little white lie goes a long way. Is it safe to say that Andre Iguodala's 'hip' is gonna look fantastic come Friday?

"I understand where you're going with this, but this was not a white lie," Kerr said in response. "Andre has had hip tightness the last three days or so.

"He played through it in Oklahoma City. And Chelsea Lane, our physical therapist, told me after the game 'Andre really needed the night off. It would be great to knock this thing out over the next few days, so let's give him tomorrow off.'

"And I always listen to the training staff ... hopefully this will knock out any potential injury."

[RATTO: With resting players, there's one obvious solution for Adam Silver, NBA]

On Monday night in Oklahoma City, recorded six points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in about 22 minutes off the bench.

Through his first 57 appearances this season, Iguodala averaged 25.7 minutes per game. Since Kevin Durant's injury, Iguodala is averaging 29.1 minutes per game.

How much influence do trainers and/or physical therapists have in determining if a player suits up or takes a night off?

"Coaches have always had to rely on the medical staff to help them with the decision-making process," Kerr explained. "I think where we've made progress is in the amount of information that we have. As a coach, my job is to kind of gauge where the players are. But we have a lot more knowledge now with some of the technology where the training staff actually can measure how fatigued a player is.

"I think it's a little easier these days for the training staff to come to the coach and recommend something and have some data to back it up."

Kerr is an advocate for reducing the number of games in the regular season, but he understands that's not a reality.

"I don't think that's gonna happen," he said. "I think it would be great, honestly, if they cut it back to 75 games ... but, let's be honest, there's a lot of revenue at stake."

Andrew Bogut credits beer for improved condition in Warriors return

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USATSI

Andrew Bogut credits beer for improved condition in Warriors return

How many NBA centers can go coast-to-coast, dribble behind their back and convert a floater over another massive human, all while on the run?

After the Warriors' bounce-back victory over the Pistons on Sunday, it's safe to say there's at least one, and his name is Andrew Bogut.

That's the new and improved Andrew Bogut. The one that last played for the Warriors in 2015-16, well, let's just say he wasn't as agile back then.

So, what changed?

Beer, apparently.

"I don’t feel much different and I haven’t changed anything specific diet-wise," Bogut told The Athletic's Ethan Strauss. "Honestly, man, when I go back to Australia, I introduce a whole lot more beer to my diet. So maybe that worked. I have one or two beers with the family at night."

Now, before you get excited thinking you've found the new perfect diet just for you, Bogut has some sobering news for you:

It wasn't just the beer.

No, Bogut ascribed several reasons for his improved condition in his recent return to Golden State, many of which are related to the far less demanding playing schedule he had as a member of the Sydney Kings back in his native Australia, where the regular season consists of 28 games over a six-month stretch.

"It was much different,” Bogut said of the lighter schedule. “Sometimes we played once a week, sometimes twice, always on weekends. On the basketball side, everyone knows you get more rest. But I benefited from just being with my kids, knowing I’m going to be with them Monday through Thursday."

So, shorten the season and everyone will benefit, right?

[RELATED: Steph explains importance of regular-season finish to Dubs]

It's not that simple, as Bogut explained.

"Well, the quality of the games would definitely be higher,” Bogut told Strauss. “But, at the end of the day, your salaries would be much less. One of the harsh realities of why we’re some of the best paid in the world is because we play so many games. You’re going to get a lot of push back from players because their salaries are going to drop."

Alas, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

But your beer, on the other hand ... 

Steph Curry explains why final regular-season games are important to Warriors

Steph Curry explains why final regular-season games are important to Warriors

With nine games remaining in the regular season, Steph Curry and the Warriors are clinging to a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for first place in the Western Conference.

Equipped with one of the most talented starting lineups in NBA history and championship experience, one might expect the two-time defending champions to shrug at the importance of their final nine games, knowing they have the talent to beat any team on any floor once the playoffs start.

That, however, isn't entirely the case.

While head coach Steve Kerr has said he will prioritize the health of his team over the chase for the top seed in the West, Curry explained Sunday night why the final nine games are very important to the Warriors whether they capture the No. 1 seed or not.

"I think it goes hand in hand with how we want to finish the season," Curry said after the Warriors' win over the Pistons. "So, if we take care of our business more times than not in these last stretch of games then (the No. 1 seed) should take care of itself. And then, in doing that, you can judge, you know, how we've been playing defensively, you know, finding that offensive rhythm and balancing all the offensive talent we have out there on the floor, and building momentum. So, unlike last year where we were kind of depleted because of injuries and Houston was running away with that one seed, it's kind of a built-in goal to how we want to finish the year, so it's definitely important."

After suffering a blowout loss to the Mavericks on Saturday with Curry sitting out for rest, the Warriors responded Sunday, heeding Kerr's pregame message and bouncing back by beating the Pistons with a complete team effort.

Golden State's final stretch will begin Wednesday when Curry and Co. travel to the Grindhouse to face the Grizzlies.

[RELATED: Warriors have earned respect with 50-win season]

While the Warriors have been frustratingly inconsistent since the All-Star break, it appears they aren't waiting until the bright lights of the playoffs to turn on their laser-like focus.

That's bad news for the rest of the NBA.