Steph combats ‘misconception' surrounding load management


One of the biggest criticisms the NBA has faced in recent years is the growing phenomenon of load management.

Star players in the league are resting more often to preserve their bodies along the grinding 82-game regular-season schedule.

Warriors guard Steph Curry nixed the perception surrounding load management following Golden State's 129-120 triumph over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.

“I usually campaign to play every game,” Curry said. “That’s the misconception about load management and how it goes. It’s never the player that is usually saying, ‘Hey, I want to sit.’

“So, for all those people that are worried about that part of our league, it’s usually not the player that is going to the training staff and saying, ‘Hey, I don’t have it tonight.’ It’s usually the other way around. There’s a lot of science involved.”

Load management most often occurs on the first or second night of a back-to-back set of games. The Warriors were the target of criticism on Jan. 20 when Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins rested in their only trip to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers.

Coach Steve Kerr doubled down on his advocacy for a 72-game schedule that night, a cause he first vocalized last April before a game against the San Antonio Spurs.

“What makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72-game schedule,” Kerr said. “Take 10 games off and get more time to rest in between games. I think you'll get buy-in from the teams to play their guys more often.

“People pay a lot of money to watch the stars play, but we also know a lot more now about the body. We have a lot more information about how to prevent injuries. Every team has got a team of medical people advising us to sit our stars out for 10 games a year."

Former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy brought the load management issue to the forefront in mid-January, which led to a humorous exchange with Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant.

Van Gundy, who has served as the head coach for four different franchises since entering the NBA coaching ranks in 1995, agrees with Curry.

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Since returning from his left shoulder injury in early January, Curry has played one back-to-back set. He dropped 20 points in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 15 and went off for 41 points on 12-of-28 shooting against the Washington Wizards one day later.

The Warriors, winners of three straight games and four of their last five, will finish off a three-game road trip with a back-to-back set in Minnesota on Wednesday and Denver on Thursday.

Curry will be petitioning to play in both. Whether he does or not is between him and the Warriors' training staff.

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