OAKLAND Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will play hisfirst competitive basketball game in almost seven months when he takes thefloor tonight against the Utah Jazz in a preseason game.Curry missed 40 of 66 games a year ago because of a sprainedright ankle, and he has spent the entire offseason rehabilitating.Curry last played on March 11, when he went 0-for-3 from thefield in nine minutes against the Los Angeles Clippers.Warriors coach Mark Jackson held Curry out of Sundayspreseason opener against the Los Angeles Lakers as a precautionary measure.Jackson also said he wanted to get Curry back on the floor for the first timein front of a home crowd.Curry received full medical clearance to participate in allbasketball-related activities on Sept. 20.
On Tuesday morning, the Warriors announced that Andre Iguodala would not play against the Mavs because of a left hip strain
"I would go with 'hip' every single night I was looking to rest a player from now on," 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce said to Steve Kerr on Wednesday. "A little white lie goes a long way. Is it safe to say that Andre Iguodala's 'hip' is gonna look fantastic come Friday?
"I understand where you're going with this, but this was not a white lie," Kerr said in response. "Andre has had hip tightness the last three days or so.
"He played through it in Oklahoma City. And Chelsea Lane, our physical therapist, told me after the game 'Andre really needed the night off. It would be great to knock this thing out over the next few days, so let's give him tomorrow off.'
"And I always listen to the training staff ... hopefully this will knock out any potential injury."
On Monday night in Oklahoma City, recorded six points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in about 22 minutes off the bench.
Through his first 57 appearances this season, Iguodala averaged 25.7 minutes per game. Since Kevin Durant's injury, Iguodala is averaging 29.1 minutes per game.
How much influence do trainers and/or physical therapists have in determining if a player suits up or takes a night off?
"Coaches have always had to rely on the medical staff to help them with the decision-making process," Kerr explained. "I think where we've made progress is in the amount of information that we have. As a coach, my job is to kind of gauge where the players are. But we have a lot more knowledge now with some of the technology where the training staff actually can measure how fatigued a player is.
"I think it's a little easier these days for the training staff to come to the coach and recommend something and have some data to back it up."
Kerr is an advocate for reducing the number of games in the regular season, but he understands that's not a reality.
"I don't think that's gonna happen," he said. "I think it would be great, honestly, if they cut it back to 75 games ... but, let's be honest, there's a lot of revenue at stake."
When the Warriors announced the severity of Kevin Durant's knee injury, they did not rule out a return before the end of the regular season.
And based on the progress of his rehab, the team is "hopeful" but "cautiously optimistic" that Durant will indeed play before the end of the regular season, according to ESPN.
The Warriors have 11 games remaining on their schedule and their final regular season game is April 12 against the Lakers.
On Tuesday, prior to the Warriors game against Dallas, Durant was seen working out on the court and putting up jump shots.
Just a day earlier, Durant worked up a good sweat while riding a stationary bike in Oklahoma City.
Durant is expected to be re-evaluated by the Warriors' medical staff next week.
After initially struggling without Durant, the Warriors have won five straight games. Durant sat on the bench for the road wins in Oklahoma City and Dallas.
Over the weekend, Warriors PG Stephen Curry and PF Draymond Green addressed Durant's recovery.
“You can tell he’s making improvements and following the game plan,” Curry told the media. “I see him in the weight room doing cardio stuff trying to stay as close to game shape as he can while he’s hurt. You like to see improvements every day. We still don’t know when he’ll be back.”
“When he’s ready, we’ll know,” Green told the media. “But it’s not really our job to try to figure out every day how he’s doing. You can kind of see he’s getting better and you just leave it at that.”