The Warriors won’t use center DeMarcus Cousins in back-to-back games for the rest of the season, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. Cousins returned to action in mid-January after a severe Achilles injury last season and has expressed frustration over the slow progress of his recovery. The Warriors have two back-to-backs left on the schedule.
Coach Steve Kerr told reporters tonight that the team will prioritize having a healthy roster heading into the playoffs over trying to capture the top seed in the West. Kerr talked with Rick Celebrini, the team’s director of sports medicine and performance, about the need to rest several players over the final two and a half weeks.
“With DeMarcus, we made the decision based on Rick’s assessment [that] he should just not play back-to-backs this season, so he’s not going to,” Kerr said. “Andre [Iguodala] and Shaun [Livingston], both periodically we’ve been given rest to the last several years, based on the age and wear and tear. Every once in a while, it’ll just come up that Rick will recommend let’s give somebody a rest. Last night it was [Stephen Curry]. He’s been going a couple months straight. Has looked a little tired the last couple of weeks, so it made perfect sense. I think we’ll be better for it in the long run.”
There’s more tonight from the Pacific Division:
- Jimmer Fredette played four minutes and went scoreless in his return to the NBA last night and said he’s thankful to the Suns for giving him a chance, relays Cody Cunningham of NBA.com. “I was just excited to get back out there and try to help the team in any way that I can,” Fredette said. “Obviously, it’s towards the end of the year. My job is to come in and try to keep these guys positive, be a veteran guy and go in there and try to be aggressive.”
- First-year Suns coach Igor Kokoskov is staying focused on the end of the season instead of his shaky future with the team, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Despite having a three-year contract, Kokoskov isn’t certain to return after leading Phoenix to the worst record in the West.
- Although the Lakers are out of the running for the playoffs, JaVale McGee had the best night of his 11-year career on Friday, notes Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. McGee, who will be a free agent again this summer, lit up the scoreboard with 33 points and 20 rebounds in a win over the Nets. “Get wins and play hard,” he said of his philosophy for the rest of the season. “That’s what our mentality is. There is no slacking. As a team that’s not making the playoffs, I’m planning on playing teams that are supposed to make the playoffs and knocking them out too. Might as well.”