The huge Stephen Curry lesson Warriors must learn from loss to Spurs

Fresh off their momentous win over the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors asserted their dominance as the top dog in the NBA. Their victory snapped the Suns’ historic 18-game win streak and washed away the sour taste in their mouths from their defeat just days prior.

But the very next day, the Warriors took an L against the San Antonio Spurs on their very same home floor. The Spurs have played better as of late, winners of three in a row coming into the game. But for a team that was 11 games back of a Golden State team that had won 11 straight home games by double-digits to come into their building and win was not the outcome most expected.

After the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr sounded unperturbed by the defeat, indicating that could have very well swapped the loss with the win that they garnered over the Suns the night before.

Via ClutchPoints’ Mark Haynes:

“We didn’t have to win last night. One and two this week. It’s the whole body of work that counts. We’re 19-4, and we’ve gotten off to a great start…So we’re in a great place.”

Stephen Curry just didn’t have it against the Spurs. He finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists, but shot a miserable 7-for-28 from the field and started out by missing his first nine shot attempts. Given the five-point margin, a better game from Curry could have easily resulted in a victory.

But at the end of the day, Steve Kerr’s words do ring true. These individual losses mean nothing in the grand scheme of things for a team like the Warriors. Through the first quarter of the season, they’ve already proven just how dominant they can be. Not only have their wins piled on.

They’ve been dominating near every opponent they’ve faced with a point differential reminiscent of their title teams from just a few seasons ago. The Warriors are a title contender – and that’s with Klay Thompson and James Wiseman on the mend.

The Warriors should have sat Stephen Curry

Given their early-season dominance and likely home-court advantage, the team should have rested Stephen Curry. For sure the Warriors superstar would object to having to sit in games when healthy. But despite still looking like he’s in the midst of his prime, Curry is in his age-33 season and will turn 34 come playoff time.

After a grueling double-header against their Western Conference rival Suns, Stephen Curry deserved a break on the second night of a back-to-back. He was clearly off his game on Saturday night. And while it could have very well been just a random rough shooting performance, playing the night before probably played a part in that.

The Warriors must find opportunities to rest Stephen Curry whenever possible and trust that the team around him is talented enough to pick up the slack. We’ve seen how proper resting patterns have helped teams garner success in the past. Golden State faced that first-hand when they faced a well-rested Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Curry’s team-high 37 minutes to take 28 shots against the Spurs may not be too concerning in the short-term. But these nights will start piling up as the season goes on. The Warriors would be wise to plan accordingly.

Bulls, Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball

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