Kerr changes tune, now says Klay could play back-to-backs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Klay Thompson really wants to play in both ends of back-to-back games, but up until Saturday, the messaging from coach Steve Kerr and the Warriors is that it probably wasn’t going to happen this season.
Prior to the Warriors’ game against the Houston Rockets at Chase Center, Kerr offered a hint that the team’s mindset might be changing regarding Thompson’s workload.
Asked if Thompson sitting out the second night of all back-to-backs was the new normal, Kerr disagreed.
“No, no, the hope is that he will play back-to-backs later this year,” Kerr told reporters. “Today, he’ll go through a really good court workout to try to simulate as best we can what a back-to-back would feel like for him. In talking to [Director of Sports Medicine and Performance] Rick [Celebrini] last night, he said there’s not really a science to it or a formula but it’s just precautionary, more than anything. So as we go during the season, there probably will be a time where Klay does play some back-to-backs.
Kerr’s latest comments come a month after he told reporters that Thompson “may not” play in both ends of back-to-backs all season long.
Two days later, Thompson met with the media and admitted that while sitting the second night of a back-to-back doesn’t feel good to him, he knows why the Warriors’ brain trust has made this decision.
“So it never sits right with me, but I also understand that we have a huge goal and that is winning a championship so maybe it’s not full throttle just yet,” Thompson said on Nov. 6. “But as the season wears on and I get in that peak physical shape — which I’m very close to — it would be nice to play in some of those.
“Maybe not all of them, but a good amount.”
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Thompson played a team-high 37 minutes in the Warriors’ win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, but is the only player sitting out against the Rockets.
The Warriors have 10 more back-to-backs this season, including three more during December. While he might not play in both ends of a back-to-back in the near future, the final two in March could be on the table.
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