Preview: Injuries Plague Golden State Warriors Before Season Opener in Sacramento


Everybody up! The NBA is back in season, and the Golden State Warriors are ready to prove they’re a real contender in a tough Western Conference.

Opening the 2014-15 NBA season on the road against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, the timing couldn’t honestly be any worse for the Warriors. As of right now, Golden State is unfortunately looking to be without their starting power forward, their backup point guard and backup shooting guard for the season opener.

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David Lee was considered doubtful for the opener after suffering a left hamstring strain in last Friday’s preseason finale at Oracle Arena against the Denver Nuggets.

The power forward hasn’t practiced since, so “unless a miracle happens,” expect backup power forward Draymond Green to start in his place for Wednesday’s game.

Shaun Livingston is still recovering from the arthroscopic surgery he underwent in the offseason on his right toe, which he required after the Warriors medical staff found that the sprained toe he had sustained in his playoffs run with the Brooklyn Nets had not healed properly.

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While Livingston has recently been seen participating in practice, he was considered unlikely for the opener.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed after Wednesday morning’s practice that Livingston would probably not play in the opener.

What this could possibly mean is Kerr will likely use the backcourt tandem of Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa to lead the second unit with Nemanja Nedovic seeing limited floor time (hopefully).

Brandon Rush was having lower back spasms a few weeks back when an MRI revealed that he had a sacral stress reaction, but his recent return to practice pointed to him possibly making a short appearance against the Kings.

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Considered probable prior to Wednesday, Kerr said Wednesday morning that Rush will also be joining Livingston on the inactive list against the Kings.

This could translate into Justin Holiday playing his first regular season game with the Warriors this year, which would be great for the 25-year-old wingman considering he was the lone training camp contract the team decided to keep after the preseason finale.

With the bench slightly depleted and the starting lineup missing one of their most consistent inside scorers, the key to the game is finding ways to limit DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins is quite possibly on his way to being the top center in the NBA if he isn’t already: he can score inside, he can drain midrange jumpers, he can facilitate from the low block, he can crash the boards with reckless abandon and he can be a pest defensively.

Bogut will have his work cut out for him, as will Festus Ezeli in the 12-15 minutes he will be limited to. Ognjen Kuzmic will also have quite the challenge for him should Bogut get into foul trouble or go down with an injury (knock on wood).

This will notably be the first regular season name for the Kings’ 2014 first-round draft pick Nik Stauskas, a sharpshooter that will join Ben McLemore and Rudy Gay on the wings.

As some may recall, former Warriors minority owner and current Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive had some choice words on his shiny new shooter:

Sorry Vivek, but if that’s your reasoning for picking Stauskas, then it seems you’re still trapped in Golden State.

The world only recognizes two Splash Brothers, and tonight will be an interesting game should a shooting contest break out between Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and the Michigan State product.

Here’s to hoping one does.