With Stephen Curry now out until at least a month into 2020 — and the Warriors playoff chances already hovering somewhere around dead — you can be sure that Golden State is going to be cautious with Draymond Green.
That means a minutes limit so Green does not burn himself out, something coach Steve Kerr said before the Warriors took on the Spurs Friday night. From Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Then Green injured his left index figure against the Spurs on Friday night, which raised questions. Green himself played it down but said it was unclear if he would play Saturday night against the Hornets, as reported by Murdock and Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports Bay Area.
“I don’t know. We’ll see. It’s pretty sore,” Green said. “I couldn’t grip a basketball since the second quarter, which is why I was making a lot of one-handed, right-handed passes, dribbling left with my right hand. Couldn’t really grip the ball. Hopefully it will calm down a little bit overnight.”
It’s unclear if Green will need or receive an MRI on the finger or if he will play Saturday.
What is clear is the Warriors are going to be cautious with Green, both in the short term and throughout the season. He’s going to see less time on the court than if the Warriors were competitive. Which is exactly the right call.
Golden State is not going to tank in the classic sense — owner Joe Lacob said tanking goes “against every single thing” the Warriors stand for — but they also don’t have to. Golden State doesn’t have to try and lose games, they are just going to be terrible this season. Eventually Curry will return, and maybe Klay Thompson, but in both those cases the Warriors are going to be more cautious than if they were in a playoff chase.
The target now is to get a lottery draft pick (wherever that falls) to go with a healthy Curry, Green, and Thompson next season. Then the target is a return to the upper echelons of the NBA.
This season, however, will be tough for Warriors fans to watch. At least they can do so in a beautiful new building.