Win streak or no, the Warriors were always going to be cautious bringing Harrison Barnes back from his ankle injury. He’s too valuable to rush his return.
And that return is, at least, another week away after he was evaluated Sunday, “interim” coach Luke Walton told Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com.
“He won’t play this week,” Walton said after practice. “It’s nice to have the schedule that we have right now. With only two games the whole week, it would be a good chance for him to get some more rest and we’ll re-evaluate him at the end of the week.”
Barnes is not only a starter for the Warriors but also he is an important cog in their deadly small-ball lineups. The Warriors are 5.8 points per 100 possessions better when Barnes is on the floor than off, plus he provides good defense and a lot of versatility (which is how the Warriors thrive).
Barnes rolled his ankle back on Nov. 27. Media members saw part of Barnes post-practice workout Monday, which included him dunking. He’s probably not that far away, but there is no reason to rush him back in December. However, I’d be surprised if he’s out for the Christmas Day showdown with Cleveland.