OAKLAND – While Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is in full “rest-night” mode, Warriors coach Steve Kerr continues to resist the notion, partly because he has no choice.
His healthy players pretty much have to play because the injury list demands it, even if an upcoming back-to-back set – Wizards at Oracle Arena on Tuesday, Jazz in Utah on Wednesday – would otherwise be an ideal time.
“We’re not changing anything,” Kerr said after practice Monday. “Tomorrow, our approach will be the same and we’ll see how we come out of that game tomorrow before we even think about Wednesday.
“But if we need to rest somebody, we will. But if we don’t, we wont.”
The four players on the injury list as of Monday:
- Forward Brandon Rush, who bruised his right knee Sunday night. He was a partial participant in drills Monday and is listed as questionable, according to the Warriors.
- Center Festus Ezeli, who continues to work his way back from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last month. He took parts in drills and looked good, Kerr said.
- Forward Andre Iguodala, who sustained a sprain of his left ankle on March 11, is doing light drills but there is no timetable on his return. The belief is he will return in time to play in the regular season.
- Forward Kevon Looney, who underwent hip surgery in August, continues to alternate between playing and rehabilitation and resting. He remains out for the time being.
Popovich is, by contrast, resting guys who are hurting as well as those who simply are long in the tooth. Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will be out of action when the Spurs visit Memphis on Monday.
“He’s smart,” Kerr told CSNBayArea.com of Popovich. “They’re locked into the No. 2 spot and there’s no danger of anybody catching them from behind. And they’re not trying to set any records. I will be interested to see if they rest guys at home. Do they want to go undefeated at home?
“But he’s been through this forever and, obviously, their team is older than ours. Duncan and Parker and Ginobili need rest at this stage of their careers. That may be something we’ll get to, maybe as soon as next year, with the Olympics and everything.
“The way I look at our team right now is the guys who are getting rest are the guys that need it, like Shaun (Livingston) last night. (Andrew) Bogut missed a couple games last week. Andre, even though it’s unintentional, is getting some rest.”
There is complete confidence by Kerr and his staff that Iguodala, Rush and Ezeli will resume playing in the regular season.
There also is the likelihood, according to Kerr, that Stephen Curry will get a rest night.
Meanwhile, the roster is short and there will be little rest for those on it.