So wait, the Warriors have centers on the roster?
Even that obvious fact has been difficult to remember. Golden State has gone without a center for eight games now, after starter Kevon Looney sprained his ankle. Rookie James Wiseman had already sprained his left (shooting) wrist by that time, and fill-in center Draymond Green just missed a win against the Heat due to right ankle soreness.
Coach Steve Kerr updated the situation on Thursday, per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle. Kerr said he expects Green to play Friday night in Orlando against the Magic, and Looney and Wiseman are slated to return on the road trip as well. After playing the Magic, Golden State travels to Charlotte to play the Hornets, then has road games against the Knicks and Pacers.
Also per Letourneau, Looney will likely return against the Knicks or Pacers, and Wiseman will be back on the court “at some point” on the road trip.
It’s been eight games of small-ball madness for Golden State, and that should quiet down a bit fairly soon, but it won’t stop completely. The Warriors are 5-3 in their eight center-less games, and per Letourneau, the team is second-best in the NBA in pace and net rating during that time. Green racking up assists at an incredible rate from the center position has been an unmistakable factor in that success, along with the brilliance of Steph Curry.
But options are essential in the NBA, and the Warriors will soon have more. Watch to see if Green indeed returns on Friday, as Kerr expects. That’s the first large hurdle. And then get ready for the re-implementation of Looney and Wiseman, but not before Golden State attempts to win its third-straight game for the first time this season on Friday night.
(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)