The Golden State Warriors are known for their three-headed monster with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green . But the addition of Kevin Durant puts them on the same talent level as the Western Conference All-Stars. But, the real stars of the Warriors back-to-back NBA Finals trips have been the resilient play of their reserves .
For the past two seasons it has been the steady play of Shaun Livingston , Leandro Barbosa, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights. But with all but one still available, there will be some adjustments to make. Steve Kerr will have his hands full as he tries to figure which of the reserves he can count on to help sustain, or look to when the team needs that extra spark.
While the Warriors starting until will do most of the heavy lifting, Kerr must be mindful how he deals with stars that have played in two straight Finals plus the Olympics this year. Curry and Co will have tired legs and the reserves will be leaned upon more this season than year’s past.[embedit snippet=”2″]
There’s no more Davis Lee’s, Speights, Barbosa or Ezeli’s. They’ve been replaced by younger guys expect for new addition David West. Anderson Varejao will back up Zaza Pachulia in the post and while West still has some gas in the tank he’s not the defensive presence that Speights was.
Livingston will still play his normal minutes along with Andre Iguodala but after that is when Kerr will be putting caution to wind. Kevin Looney and Patrick McGraw will be asked to step up and be major contributors. Asking is one thing, but do they have what it takes to be counted on when it matters most?
The Warriors should have no need of trying to break any more regular season win totals. Kerr must take the Gregg Popovich approach and think Playoff health. If that means sitting starters down for more rest during games or giving them nights off from back-to-backs then so be it. The season goal is to win another ring and not 74 wins.