It isn't lost on Steve Kerr how much the basketball world is looking forward to his team squaring off with the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Golden State Warriors head coach, though, the epic confrontation won't take place under the most ideal of circumstances for his team.
Kerr will be without regulars Andre Iguodala and Festus Ezeli, and possibly even Andrew Bogut, due to injury. The Warriors are also coming off a 130-112 road win over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, so tired legs may play a factor against their Western Conference rivals.
"If I had any guts at all, I'd sit everybody," Kerr said following the Mavericks game, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons. "It's like our sixth game in nine nights. It's on national TV. If I was (Gregg Popovich), I'd sit everybody, but I don't have that kind of courage."
Popovich is notorious for sitting some of his bigger names to rest their aging bodies, regardless if it upsets fans or the league. While Kerr would love to give his players Saturday night off, he understands it wouldn't be perceived the same way as if Popovich - who coached Kerr on the Spurs for four seasons - were the one conjuring up that level of disappointment.
"I'm in my second year. I can't flip the bird to the league, like Pop does every once in a while," Kerr said. "That's my guy, but I'm not in that class."
Even if he had a full roster at his disposal, ending the franchise's 32-game losing streak in San Antonio against a Spurs team that hasn't lost on its home floor all season would be no easy task, regardless of how hot the Warriors have been all year.
This will be the first of three meetings between the Warriors and Spurs over the next 23 days, with four games separating the two atop the West for home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.