OAKLAND – There is a very specific reason behind the Warriors' decision Thursday morning to assign rookies Pat McCaw and Damian Jones to Santa Cruz of the Development League.
They need to play.
"It'll be great for Patrick to get some playing time – both of them, actually, but Patrick in particular," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday after practice. "He hasn't done anything wrong here. He's played really well every time we've thrown him out there.
"But Ian (Clark) has just played so well that he's earned those extra minutes, and it's tough to play 11 guys."
After getting playing time in 17 consecutive games, McCaw has only seen the floor for five seconds combined over the past three. Clark, by contrast, generally has been the second guard off the bench, behind Shaun Livingston.
Though McCaw and Jones were getting regular work during practices in Oakland and on the road, the most intense workouts were post-practice 3-on-3 sessions.
"But it's not the same as 5-on-5, full court, with refs and a crowd," Kerr said. "It's a great alternative. And it's really nice to have the proximity that we do to Santa Cruz. It's so easy to get our guys down there and back."
McCaw is averaging 2.8 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.
Jones, who missed the first five weeks of the season while recovering from pectoral surgery, has played in only one game, Dec. 10 at Memphis, with Golden State.