Steve Kerr Comments on Warriors' Pursuit of Bulls' Record, Resting Players

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2016

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) talk in the second half of an NBA basketball game Washington Wizards, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Washington. The Warriors won 134-121. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors (55-5) are on course to break the single-season win record set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, but the head coach of the defending champions isn't going to risk the health of his players to make history. 

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Kerr said he will opt to rest players, if necessary, before the playoffs even if his team has a chance of winning 73 games and shattering a mark that has stood for 20 years. 

"Resting, that will take precedence," Kerr said, per Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears. "We will rest guys if they need it before we will go for any kind of streak or record, that's for sure."

Despite Kerr's decree, Warriors point guard and reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry said he agreed with his coach's decision. 

"That is how I assumed he would handle it," Curry told Spears. "Obviously, the big picture is always the most important trying to win a championship. Case in point, like tonight [against Oklahoma City], they put Andre [Iguodala] on a minutes restriction knowing he is probably the best matchup for KD [Kevin Durant]."

The good news for the Warriors is that they likely can have their cake and eat it too. 

Just like last year, Golden State has bludgeoned opponents so badly that Kerr has been able to rest his starters for many a fourth quarter. In fact, Curry ranks sixth on the team in average fourth-quarter minutes (6.4) and total fourth-quarter minutes (262). 

Golden State's 4th-Quarter Minutes
RankPlayerTotal 4Q Minutes
1Shaun Livingston434
2Andre Iguodala418
3Klay Thompson372
4Harrison Barnes350
5Draymond Green312
T-6Leandro Barbosa262
T-6Stephen Curry262
8Marreese Speights229
Source: NBA.com/Stats

"As long as we do it the right way, as long as we keep the focus," he added, per Spears. "It would be a huge accomplishment because they are still talking about that Bulls team. For someone to come along and chase our potential record would be something special."

If the Warriors can stay the course and maintain their current average margin of victory (11.3 points)—which ranks second behind only renowned rest specialists in San Antonio (12.5 points)—their run toward history should continue unimpeded.