The Golden State Warriors have slipped from a loaded group of star players to the walking wounded. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, as well as reserve Omri Casspi, have been hobbled by injuries of late, leaving head coach Steve Kerr to rely on Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia to compete with a shorthanded lineup.
The injuries likely mean the Warriors will fall short to the Houston Rockets in the race for the best record in the league. Golden State trails Houston by 2.5 games with 13 games remaining and share the same record with the Toronto Raptors, who are the leaders in Eastern Conference. The Warriors are coming off a loss Friday to the Sacramento Kings and have dropped three of their last four games.
But the more immediate concern for Kerr is to have his players healthy for the playoffs, which begin on April 14.
Kerr described the Warriors’ injuries as “temporary.”
“We’ve just got to survive this next slate of games and hopefully start getting guys back and get rolling again for the playoffs,” Kerr said.
Kerr will be without his best sharpshooters in road games against the Phoenix Suns on Saturday and the San Antonio Spurs on Monday. The Warriors may have more reinforcement when they return to Oakland for a four-game homestand. In the meantime, Quinn Cook, Nick Young and Kevon Looney can expect an uptick in minutes.
The 29-year-old will be sidelined for at least two weeks with incomplete rib cartilage fracture. Durant played with soreness against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday after feeling discomfort against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 11.
The Warriors have seven games on their schedule before they face the Suns at home on April 1.
The best-case scenario was for Curry to return against the Lakers on Wednesday. Instead, he remains inactive due to a nagging right ankle. Curry will be re-evaluated Tuesday, which means the earliest he can return is a Friday home game against the Atlanta Hawks.
Curry hasn’t played since leaving after two minutes against the Spurs on March 8.
A fractured right thumb has forced Thompson to miss two games. He will miss at least two more games and will be examined again on Thursday. Like Curry, Thompson has a chance to play against the Hawks on Friday.
The reserve forward was helped off the floor with a sprained ankle during Friday’s loss to the Kings. It is unclear when Casspi will return.