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Kerr calls Steph's burden ‘unfair' amid Warriors star's struggles

Kerr calls Steph's burden ‘unfair' amid Warriors star's struggles originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

There’s too much on Steph Curry’s plate.

In efforts to cool down the unrealistic pressure on Curry amid the Warriors' turmoil, Steve Kerr has made it clear that there’s too much pressure placed on Golden State’s star guard.

During his first press conference since Draymond Green’s return from an indefinite suspension, Kerr on Tuesday was asked what he would attribute as the source of Curry’s recent struggles.

“I think it’s a combination of the above [fatigue, how defenses are guarding him]. I think there’s a little fatigue. It’s a long season,” Kerr told reporters. “Usually every year, he has a couple spells where he’s not on his game and that’s just natural for any player. ...

“But I think we’ve thrown a ton on his shoulders. The burden that Steph Curry has on him for this franchise is unfair. You know, the Draymond [Green] suspension. Draymond is the vocal leader of this team, obviously. He and Steph have kind of been co-captaining the leadership with our group for a decade. So without Draymond here, that adds a lot more to Steph’s plate.”

Curry, 35, had what is arguably his worst performance of the year in the Warriors’ 133-118 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, ending with nine points and shooting 2 of 14 from the field and 0 of 9 from beyond the arc.

With notable injuries to Gary Payton II and Chris Paul, and Green suspended, Kerr has been forced to lean on his young players off the bench, putting Curry in an uncomfortable scheme on the floor at times this season.

“We are trying to integrate a lot of young players. Steph has a very unique style – it’s the play after the play that matters with Steph,” Kerr added. “We’ve put him in some combinations where the play after the play isn’t happening and that is frustrating for him. He's not James Harden or Luka [Doncic].

“We are not just going to run a high pick and roll and spread the floor, and he’s going to dribble seven hundred times. That’s not his game. So, he has to thrive off the ball just as well as on the ball. Frankly, we’ve had some combinations out there that don’t recognize that as well as certain combinations.

“So when you mix in that and other players struggling, whatever and other occasional turmoil, that’s a lot. That’s a lot. This guy has carried our torch for over a decade and everything we have built is really based on him. We are putting too much on his plate right now.”

As the Warriors look to jump up in the Western Conference standings, the questions now becomes how Kerr and general manager Mike Dunleavy will play their cards before the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline and how Green, who is ramping up for a return to the court, will be utilized to ease the workload on Curry.

If Kerr made something clear on Tuesday, it’s that Curry needs some room to breathe.

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