LOS ANGELES -- Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he doesn't like the uneasiness he's felt about his bench lately. He prefers to view his reserves as a strategic move to impact the game in his team's favor, not an unnerving roller coaster.
"When you go to your bench, the good teams either keep the game where it is or they increase a lead," Jackson said after Thursday's voluntary workouts held at UCLA. "What you don't want is to be thinking 'I've got to get my starters back in there quick.' That's not getting the job done."
Jackson has expressed disappointment in his reserves on multiple occasions.
He yanked them from the final minutes of the game in Utah because of their "embarrassing effort." He gave a ringing un-endorsement Wednesday by playing each of his starters at least 43 minutes.
But in the same breath, Jackson assures his bench will be fine. He said the players just need to get into a rhythm, something that's made a tad more difficult since the Warriors keep it moderate in practice.
Another factor is injuries. First Harrison Barnes missed the first four games with left toe inflammation. Then Stephen Curry's bone bruise upgraded Toney Douglas to the starting lineup. Two games later, Douglas went down with a stress reaction in his left tibia. Two games after that, Jermaine O'Neal bruised his right knee and strained his right groin, knocking him out of action.
And big man Festus Ezeli still hasn't played this season.
"I'm not too concerned," Barnes said. "Right now, it's hard. Every game someone is hurt. We haven't had many games where everyone is all there. In time, I think we've got enough pieces that it will all work out."
Jackson said that in the ebb and flow of a season, teams will go through stretches where the starters have to carry a larger load. And there will be stretches where the reserves save the day.
Jackson believes there is too much talent on his bench for it not to click at some point.
"They're going to be fine," Jackson said. "They're going to be big for us. I have no doubt about that."