Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

Kerr: Warriors could rest two key veterans during upcoming stretch

OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors on Sunday will begin a stretch in which they play three games in four nights and five in eight, coach Steve Kerr said there are no plans to rest anyone.

He did, however, leave open the possibility of sitting a couple veterans.

“The only guys who I would consider resting over the next week, barring injury, would be Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said Sunday afternoon, prior to tipoff against Memphis at Oracle Arena. “And that’s routine, because of the wear and tear, the age and the constant monitoring we’re doing with those guys.

“But the schedule is fine. I’m not planning on resting anybody in San Antonio.”

After facing the Grizzlies, the Warriors on Monday fly to Houston, where on Tuesday night they will play the Rockets. The following night, they face the Spurs in a game of particular significance.

Though the Warriors are assured of having the homecourt advantage should they make it to the NBA Finals, they have yet to reach that status in the Western Conference. The Spurs were two games back prior to the Warriors-Grizzlies game.

After returning home from San Antonio, the Warriors face the Rockets next Friday night and the Washington Wizards at home on April 2.

All five teams during this stretch are either in the playoffs and likely to be in. The Warriors entered Sunday with a combined 2-6 record against those teams.

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

OAKLAND -- Amid the recovery mission that followed the absence of Kevin Durant, as every Warrior eventually pitched in, Shaun Livingston stood virtually alone as someone who wasn’t doing his part.

The Warriors, and Livingston, would like to believe that is about to change.

When Livingston made 3-of-4 shots in a 112-87 rout of the Mavericks on Tuesday night, it was the first time he shot higher than 50 percent on multiple shots since Feb. 28, the day Durant went down with a knee injury.

“You go through slumps,” Livingston said after practice Thursday. “Fortunately for me, I’ve played long enough to know. You keep shooting. Keep pushing forward, good things will happen.”

As the Warriors lost that game at Washington, and four of the next six, Livingston’s usually reliable midrange game disappeared. In the first 10 full games since Durant was sidelined, Livingston shot 18.8 percent (6-of-32).

So his teammates did the heavy lifting. Andre Iguodala excelled as the steady vet. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green dipped and then came hard. Stephen Curry climbed out of his rut and started dancing again. The big men -- Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West -- were titanic. Pat McCaw, Ian Clark, Matt Barnes and James Michael McAdoo filled in the gaps.

They had to, because Livingston the most reliable shooter on the team was nowhere to be found.

“We all want to play the best that we can,” Livingston said. “But the reality is it doesn’t work that way all the time.”

On Tuesday, for the first time this month, Livingston looked like himself. He was the guy who shot 55.6 percent in October, 54.4 percent in November, 57.6 percent in December, 58.9 percent in January and 54.1 percent in February.

“It was good for Shaun to see the ball go in the rim,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s had such a great year shooting the ball, and then the last couple weeks he hit a dry spell. Which is going to happen to everybody.”

The “dry spell” was shocking, because it was Livingston. He’s in the final weeks of his third season with the Warriors, and throughout that time there was only one month in which he shot less that 49 percent (47.5 in March 2015). Signed in July 2014 to be the team’s No. 3 guard and primary backup to Curry, Livingston is shooting 51.9 percent in his Warriors career.

The Warriors would like to think he’s ready, once again, to do his part.

“Last game was good for him, just to make a few and see the ball go in,” Kerr said. “I’m confident he’ll get it going.”

Golden State GM Myers addresses Warriors free agents

Golden State GM Myers addresses Warriors free agents

They are favored to win it all, and maybe they will. Perhaps, as some speculate, they will flame out in the postseason.

Either way, watching the rebooted Warriors often leads to a nagging question:

Is this a one-and-done roster?

Not if general manager Bob Myers is able to work some summer magic.

“We’ve got 10 free agents; there are a lot of balls to juggle in the offseason,” Myers said Friday on the Warriors Insider Podcast. “That’s good, though, because I think we’ve developed a culture where players want to stay.”

Kevin Durant arrived last summer and can opt out this summer, though indications are he wants to stay. Though other free agents include Ian Clark, JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West, Myers specifically addressed three core veterans: Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

After initially joking that he was “not sure” about the desire to re-sign Curry, Myers delivered the predictable answer: “For the record: We would love to have Steph Curry, going forward. Hopefully, he feels the same way. I think he does.”

Curry has consistently stated his desire to remain with the Warriors. Barring a shocking and catastrophic turn of events, that’s going to get done.

Iguodala and Livingston, however, are a bit trickier. Though both are key members of the team, neither is a starter. And both will be entering their 14th season.

“We’d love to keep them, and I’ve told them that,” Myers said. “We’d like to try to make it work. We have to approach it with what’s in our control, and that’s trying to find a way to keep them on the team. They’re not just really good players; they’re unbelievable people. So we’ll do everything we can.”

Myers conceded, too, that the unique skills possessed by Iguodala and Livingston make them difficult to replace. Even though the salary cap will rise slightly, along with the luxury-tax line, there are no guarantees.

“But you’re going to try,” Myers said. “But, conversely, there are times -- not with those guys -- but other times you’re looking at your roster, in any sport, and you go, ‘Yeah, we’ll probably let that guy go.’ That’s not the case at all.”

Perhaps foreseeing the summer -- or recalling the pursuit of Durant last summer -- Myers shifted into something that sounded like a recruiting pitch that could apply to players currently on the roster or those who might be on the market.

“They love playing for Steve,” he said. “We try to treat them fairly. We try to treat them as well as we can and provide them with all the resources to win and stay healthy and the environment of being in the Bay Area, and all the things outside of basketball that, shockingly, people may not realize players care about that are outside of the walls of the gym.

“This community, the diversity, the opportunity, the entrepreneurship, it’s a great place to sell to a player. But they really want to win. And I think we’ve shown we can win. So, hopefully, that gives us at least a good shot at keeping guys and then acquiring guys.”