The Golden State Warriors are at the top of their game this NBA season. Beating out records set during the Michael Jordan era in the Chicago Bulls, the Stephen Curry team appears to be poised to snag another championship trophy. Apart from an incredible roster this NBA season, the coaching staff of the Golden State Warriors seem to be looking into the same precautions set by Gregg Popovich.
The success of the San Antonio Spurs has been consistently attributed in part to their healthy lineup. Despite the age of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Big Three of the LaMarcus Aldridge squad never suffered as much as Kobe Bryant. That is, the San Antonio Spurs staff managed to minimize injuries compared with other teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the recent reports regarding the Golden State Warriors lineup, it looks interim head coach Luke Walton might be looking to follow the same rule implemented by the Kawhi Leonard squad. With the NBA champs on a role this season, choosing games to have the key players sit out can be tricky. However, Walton believes that the return of Harrison Barnes in the lineup could finally give Draymond Green the highly needed rest he deserves.
However, it might not be as easy as asking Duncan to sit out a match. Walton shared that a lot like Curry, Green is the type of player who refuses to miss out on games. Moreover, the targeted game for Green's absence is the last possible match of the Black Mamba at the Oracle Arena.
"I look forward to having that talk with him," Walton said teasingly of the pending discussion with Green, according to CSN Bay Area. The coach further shared, "He's [Green] one of the guys that actually plays heavy minutes. And it kind of started when Harrison went down. He's playing in the high 30s. Now that we have Harrison back, he's definitely a guy we can look at giving a little bit of time off to."
Walton noted though that other members of the Golden State Warriors roster also need some rest. However, the power forward is the player who needs it the most at the moment.
Meanwhile, Barnes is getting closer to returning to his old form. Following a 16-game hiatus due to a high ankle sprain, one of the core members of the "Small Ball Death Squad" could finally return to the match against the Denver Nuggets.
"Possibly, yes," responded Walton to the question on Barnes' availability to play against the Emmanuel Mudiay squad. He added, "Right now we're just more interested in getting him more minutes. Our team is playing great right now. Obviously, there is no need to change the starting lineup." Barnes was replaced by Brandon Rush in the starting lineup after the former fell to an ankle injury in a November game against Markieff Morris' Phoenix Suns.
Walton further said, "Right now, coming off a sprained ankle, we feel that the best way to limit [Barnes'] minutes is to bring him off the bench and then get him back in toward the end of the half. Then we can kind of repeat that in the second half."