OAKLAND -- The Warriors can be sensitive about the subject of Steph Curry’s workload. He wants to play every game while striving to be a great husband and father and also making broad use of his massive social platform.
The Warriors understand all of this, and they do not want to obstruct any of it.
Yet workload management is one of the reasons Rick Celebrini was hired last summer to serve as the team’s director of Sports Medicine and Performance. Aided by high-tech fitness tools, he monitors every player for fatigue levels and beyond.
As much as the Warriors hope to nab the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, if not the NBA, everything goes through Celebrini. He is the gatekeeper of player availability. He decided that DeMarcus Cousins will not play in back-to-back games this season, that Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will remain on routine body-maintenance programs and that Curry should miss the occasional game – such as Saturday against the Mavericks.
Curry seemed to benefit from the rest.
He scored 11 points in the first quarter Sunday and finished with team-high 26 in a 121-114 win over the Detroit Pistons.
With Curry, assuming he’s not injured, it’s a fine line. With the other veterans, the decisions are much more defined. Cousins is coming off a major injury, Iguodala and Livingston are mid-30s veterans requiring rest at regular intervals.
“Each player, we look at individually,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. “With DeMarcus, we made the decision based on Rick’s assessment that he should just not play back-to-backs this season. So, he’s not going to.
“Andre and Shaun both, periodically we’ve been giving rest to for the last several years based on the age and wear and tear.
“And then, every once in a while, it will come up that Rick will recommend we give somebody a rest. Last night it was Steph.”
Sitting Curry was precautionary, according to Kerr. His work schedule and his numerous off-the-court endeavors leave him open to overload.
“He’s been going a couple months straight and has looked a little tired the last couple weeks,” Kerr said. “It made perfect sense. We will be better for it in the long run.”
It definitely looked that way on Sunday.