OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Sunday that he wants his team to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs and secure home-court advantage in the team's final season at Oracle Arena. But as his group heads into its final 10 regular-season games, the overall health of the group will take priority over any playoff positioning.
"Health always comes first," Kerr said prior to Sunday's game against the Detroit Pistons. "So each player we look at individually."
With that in mind, the Warriors will rest DeMarcus Cousins and veteran Andre Iguodala on Sunday on the second night of a back-to-back against the Pistons. This comes the night after Kerr, along with consultation from Rick Celebrini, the team's director of sports medicine and performance, decided to rest guard Stephen Curry and veteran Shaun Livingston.
Kerr noted before Sunday's game that Cousins, who is still recovering from a left Achilles injury sustained last season, will not play in both sets of a back-to-back the rest of the season. (The Warriors have two more back-to-backs.)
"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 and Shaun, 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 Steph. 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. So within all that, we try to win."
The Warriors enter Sunday's game tied with the Denver Nuggets for the top spot in the Western Conference after the Nuggets' loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. Unlike last season, when it became clear that the Houston Rockets had locked up the No. 1 seed toward the end of the regular season, Kerr said the Warriors will play to the end and try to earn home-court advantage.
"The only way that would happen is if we were mathematically out of it," Kerr said. "And then at that point, maybe you make a decision, but it hasn't even entered my mind. We're just going for the 1-seed and trying to stay healthy and do all that at once."
With Curry back in the lineup Sunday, Kerr is confident that his team will have no issue bouncing back after a 35-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at Oracle. Kerr said he did not address his team about Saturday's game prior to Sunday's game against the Pistons.
"The words came last night, which were flush it down the toilet and move forward," Kerr said. "So that's what we do, and that's how tonight will go. I've seen this team so many times just bounce back after tough nights, so I already know what they're about. We'll be fine."