The Golden State Warriors have recently looked less like a championship-contending squad and more like a cast of characters for a medical drama. At least seven players have battled injury in recent weeks and as the regular season comes to a close.
Steve Kerr’s squad seem certain to not catch the Houston Rockets for the best record in the Western Conference. The Rockets have a 4.5-game lead in the standings with nine games left on their schedule, while the Warriors have the No. 2 seed locked up.
Lacking several starters, the Warriors were still able to earn a 106-94 win over the lowly Atlanta Hawks on Friday. But Kerr had to go deep into his bench, with reserve center Jordan Bell playing a career-high 28 minutes.
Through all the injury woes, Golden State is still the top contender to win another NBA title, with oddsmakers listing them as 5/7 favorites.
It also helps that the Warriors have several players who can return this week, with home games against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. The Warriors hit the road against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.
Casspi, who injured his ankle on March 16, is not expected to play Sunday but could return this week.
An MRI revealed that the 30-year-old has a Grade 2 MCL sprain, which means he will likely miss the rest of the rest of the regular season. It’s unclear exactly how long Curry will be out, but he could be at full strength by the middle of April.
It was a bitter return for Curry on Friday. After weeks of rehabbing a nagging ankle injury, Curry hurt his knee after center JaVale McGee landed on him as McGee attempted to block a shot. Curry limped to the bench and then made his way to the locker room.
“This is not a major injury. We can overcome this,” Kerr said of Curry’s injury.
The sharpshooter has been plagued by soreness in his right rib and won’t be available Sunday. But Kerr said Durant “has made some real strides” in his recovery. Durant has a good shot at returning Tuesday after being out since March 14.
The Warriors’ leading scorer has missed a total of 12 games this season.
Despite suffering a pelvic contusion, Green will return to action on Sunday.
The 28-year-old sat out Friday’s game after a collision with the San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green on Monday. The hard-nosed forward has also battled knee and shoulder problems this season.
A bruised lower back contusion has held back McCaw, but the backup small forward will be available Sunday. McCaw played 22 minutes against the Hawks on Friday.
A fractured right thumb has kept Thompson out since March 11. He could return for Saturday’s game against the Kings.
Thompson has mostly been healthy this season before the thumb injury but also battled ankle problems.
The swingman has been bothered by his right knee but will play Sunday.