Second-year forward Harrison Barnes missed just one game as a rookie for the Golden State Warriors in 2012-13, but inflammation in his left foot will mean he doubles that total before ever setting foot on the floor in 2013-14.
Coach Mark Jackson announced Tuesday that Barnes, who has missed the last three weeks, is still being bothered by the injury, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Jackson said Barnes won’t play for at least the first two games.
When Barnes is able to return, he’ll do it as a reserve. Jackson also announced Tuesday that Klay Thompson will remain in the starting lineup and Barnes will be relegated to the sixth man role.
Our Danny Saeed made an argument for the opposite move on Golden Gate Sports earlier today.
Jackson had said the fifth starting spot along with Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala, David Lee and Stephen Curry would come down to either Thompson or Barnes.
Thompson came off the bench for the first two preseason games, but Barnes was injured before he could audition for a possible reserve role.
Of course, Barnes being out means the Warriors enter the season with a thin bench. Jackson said the rotation would be determined by situation from a combination of Jermaine O’Neal, Draymond Green, Maurice Speights and Toney Douglas.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, is somewhat bullish on Golden State. The Warriors are not likely to sneak up on anyone this season, considering the Warriors are the ninth most likely team to win the NBA title, according to Las Vegas betting site Bovada.lv.
Bovada has the Warriors as 16/1 to win the championship, behind the Miami Heat (21/10), Chicago Bulls (11/2), Oklahoma City Thunder (17/2), Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers (each 9/1), Brooklyn Nets (10/1), Houston Rockets (12/1) and San Antonio Spurs (14/1).
The site has Golden State as a 7/1 shot to win the Western Conference title and gives the Warriors 9/5 odds to win the Pacific Division for the first time since 1975-76.