This has been a brutal week in the NBA for injuries, but telling that to the Golden State Warriors is like preaching to the choir.
The Warriors had already lost key rotation players in Toney Douglas and Jermaine O’Neal to minor injuries, and that’s in addition to being without backup centers Ogjen Kuzmi and Festus Ezeli.
Losing Andre Iguodala, who has been remarkably durable over his 10-year career, is the biggest blow for the Warriors yet.
The good news is, Iguodala’s hamstring strain suffered on Friday night will not require any surgery, according to the Warriors team site. Iguodala is listed as being out indefinitely.
It’s a shame, because Iguodala has been playing the best basketball of his career with Golden State. He’s been distributing and defending like he usually does, but his jumper has been on point as well.
While it’s not nearly time to sound the alarm, this is a little scary for the Warriors. Stephen Curry has already sprained his ankle once this season, and we know that’s an issue that can spring up at anytime. Andrew Bogut, meanwhile, has only played in 44 total games over the last two seasons. Much of that has been the cause of bad luck, but Bogut isn’t exactly the picture of perfect health.
Every team takes on the risks of injury, but the Warriors are particularly all-in with this group. Bogut, Iguodala, Curry and David Lee are all on long-term deals, and the Warriors gave up two future first rounds picks (and left them unprotected) in a trade with the Utah Jazz.
Point being, there isn’t much of a safety net for the Warriors if things go bad. Perhaps more importantly, the playoff race in the Western Conference looks heated, and even a few games could make all the difference.
We’ve seen health issues ruin potential dynasties in the past (Portland, for example), but we’re a long ways away from something on that scale. Iguodala should be back in action soon enough, as well as some of the other pieces in Golden State.
At full-strength, Golden State is capable of some truly beautiful basketball. Here’s hoping we get to see that again sooner rather than later.