Kawhi Leonard was already set to miss Saturday evening’s highly anticipated match-up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors, as the All-NBA forward remains in the concussion protocol. Late on Friday evening, Steve Kerr and the Warriors made their own personnel decision, and in short, it was a sweeping one.
Given that Kevin Durant is already on the shelf for the next few weeks, this move from Kerr constitutes the removal of his top four available players. As the backdrop, the Warriors suffered a second consecutive loss on Friday, floundering in a 103-102 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Following that contest, Golden State is forced to travel from Minneapolis to San Antonio, and it appears Kerr and his staff thought it best to look at the big picture instead of focusing on a nationally-televised battle against their top Western Conference competitor.
The good folks at ABC/ESPN cannot possibly be pleased with this decision, as the game was slotted in the coveted Saturday evening broadcast position. With that, the debate as to whether teams should prioritize rest and player health over the “good of the league” in a spot like this will be fired up once again, but Steve Kerr (rightly) doesn’t seem to care about that. The game between San Antonio and Golden State won’t be as entertaining as it once looked to be, but in the grand scheme, the Warriors are probably better off resting their big guns and positioning themselves in an ideal manner for May and June.