The NBA’s Toughest Job? It Just May Be Coaching the Warriors Without Steve Kerr

December 23rd, 2015 by Ric Bucher Leave a reply »

As the evening grew later and the game went longer, Warriors interim coach Luke Walton's gut wrenched ever tighter. The Boston Celtics were threatening his team's mind-boggling, record-setting undefeated streak to start the season and over his brief stint in charge—nine weeks, 23 regular-season games—he hadn't faced a dilemma quite like the one challenging him here on the TD Garden parquet floor.

With the team already showing signs of fatigue by way of flat shots and slow defensive rotations, he had played the foursome of Steph Curry, Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green the final nine minutes of regulation while alternating Festus Ezeli and Andrew Bogut at center.

Two of those players, Iguodala and Livingston, have injury histories checkered enough that the Warriors have always been hyper-vigilant about how much they're used. Iguodala had played more than 30 minutes for only the sixth time all season the previous game in Indiana. Livingston, meanwhile, is a walking medical marvel playing on a left knee once completely shredded.

Walton's stress didn't stem from the possibility that he might taste ...

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