OAKLAND — Warriors coach Mark Jackson explained Jermaine O’Neal’s DNP by saying, “I was getting my Pop on.”
Jackson of course was referring to San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich resting star players who were otherwise healthy. The difference is that the Warriors are banged up.
Andre Iguodala is down at least three games with knee tendinitis. Andrew Bogut went through shootaround, but it didn’t cooperate enough for him to play against Orlando. O’Neal, the 35-year-old veteran, needed a break after taking a hit at Portland.
Through it all, the Warriors took care of business against the Magic, with ball movement being the key for Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to make things happen as part of a smaller lineup featuring Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green.
“A quality win for us,” Jackson said. “I’m really pleased with the way we got after it. We handled our business.”
Even Marreese Speights got 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench, playing 23 minutes after combining for 13 minutes over the previous six games.
“I know we’ve got a lot of guys, and we’re deep, so I know sometimes Coach can’t put me in the game, so I understand that,” Speights said. “I get an opportunity like this, I make sure I capitalize.”
Not all DNPs are made equal, but Speights stepped up. Steve Blake added 12 points, four assists and four rebounds off the bench.
The team effort on a night when the full squad wasn’t available (#halfsquad?) didn’t go unnoticed by Jackson.
“We got some good play from our bench also,” he said. “Just continue to chalk up Ws and close this thing out the right way, so I’m very pleased and even more pleased that we could do it with getting guys the rest, proper treatment.”