The race for the top spot in the Western Conference is heating up, as both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs currently sport identical 52-14 records.
However, on Sunday night in San Antonio, the two teams played one of the most disappointing games of the season, as the Warriors rested star players Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala and star forward Kevin Durant missed the game as he continues to recover from a knee injury.
The Spurs, meanwhile, were without Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker due to injuries and other ailments, but still managed to earn an easy 107-85 victory.
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On Monday night's NBA tipoff show on TNT, NBA legend and current analyst Isiah Thomas grilled Green about the game and asked why the Warriors basically forfeited. That caused Green to go into defensive mode, as you can see in the video below, saying the team was basically forced to go through with their plan to rest thanks to the NBA's terrible scheduling:
“I’ve never been one to be scared of anything," Green says in the video. "I don’t really know if being scared of another team is the right choice of words. And even if we were scared, they were without LaMarcus [Aldridge]. They were without Kawhi [Leonard]. So, if there were any type of scariness in that situation, we would have looked and said, ‘Oh man, they ain’t playing. Let’s just go win the game.’ But being that it has nothing to do with that, we said we were going to rest this game.
"That’s really all it was. If we could get a better scheduling, then maybe we can go out there and play.”
Sunday's loss against the Spurs was the second game in a back-to-back and Golden State's third game in four nights. That's why coach Steve Kerr chose to rest his stars, something San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich has done effectively in the past, too.
Starting Tuesday night, the Warriors get a little bit of a break. They host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, the Orlando Magic on Thursday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday - three of the Eastern Conference's weakest teams.
The Warriors have one more game in San Antonio this season, and of course it comes at the tail end of another three-games-in-four-nights stretch. After hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday, March 26, the Warriors travel to Houston to take on the Rockets on March 28 and then head to San Antonio on March 29.
Whether the Golden State stars (or the San Antonio stars, for that matter) suit up for that contest remains to be seen. But, one thing is for sure - Isiah Thomas will be watching.