Last season, the Golden State Warriors trotted out a starting lineup of five players with a combined 21 All-NBA nods. Mere months later, they may have to find a way to win without all five, not to mention their newest All-Star addition.
Draymond Green became the latest Warrior to get hurt when he suffered a sprained left index finger during Friday’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday the injury would keep Green out for at least a few games, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.
This development comes two days after Stephen Curry broke his left hand, which will keep him out for three months. That’s compounded by Klay Thompson’s torn ACL, which will likely keep him out for the season, and the free-agent departures of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins.
"I hurt my finger," Green said, via ESPN. "Ligament action. But it is what it is. ... I don't know [about Saturday]; we'll see. It's pretty sore. I couldn't grip the ball the whole entire [game], probably since the second quarter. Which is why I was making a lot of one-handed, right-handed passes and dribbling left with my right hand. I couldn't really grip the ball, so we'll see. Hopefully, it will calm down a little bit overnight, but who knows?"
Before the game, head coach Steve Kerr had talked about Green being the last remaining healthy player of their core and said that he didn’t want to “run him into the ground.” Now, the former Defensive Player of the Year will be sidelined for a while.
D’Angelo Russell also out with ankle injury
Because the Warriors really needed another bad break, their last remaining star player, D’Angelo Russell, tweaked his ankle Friday night and will be out Saturday, per Slater.
Take the stars away from the NBA roster that most epitomized the stars-and-scrubs approach and you get, well, this:
Warriors starters tonight vs Hornets: Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, Glenn Robinson, Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 2, 2019
Ideally, Russell only misses one game against a rebuilding Charlotte Hornets team. However, it’s hard to see him turning things around all by himself.
Are these Warriors heading for the lottery?
Not too long ago, it seemed hard to imagine when the Warriors’ dynasty might end, but now it’s hard to see how they’ll even make the playoffs this season. Off to a 1-4 start, Golden State is in serious trouble.
Every player that defined the team’s run of NBA Finals appearances is either currently hurt or out the door.
Even before considering how long Green may be sidelined, Curry’s injury shot their chances of a top seed in the West. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Elo forecast, the Warriors are projected to finish with a 38-44 record and only have a 21 percent chance of making playoffs. They have the sixth-worst rating in the league, and that figures to further plummet without Green.
With so many injuries mounting, the Warriors may take it easy on the major injuries to Thompson and Curry to ensure that they’re healthy next year and swallow the pill of a losing record this season. After all, it did work out for the Spurs in 1996-97.
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