A healthy basketball team is an assumption made by most prognosticators before each and every season. Or, at least, relatively healthy. it's hard to project the number of games missed if the static projection of these numbers are fluid.
The Warriors came into the season with only one injury, a non-serious Harrison Barnes foot ailment that only cost him a couple games. Since then, Jermaine O'Neal has gone down with a groin/ankle injury that's probably more week-to-week than what they term as day-to-day. Ognjen Kuzmic is out with a broken finger. Toney Douglas is out another week or two with a stress reaction in his tibia. Stephen Curry has missed the last two games with a concussion and always has ankle issues. And now? Andre Iguodala left the Laker game with a hamstring injury and did not return. It's a damn miracle we haven't seen Andrew Bogut limping around out there yet.
Andre Iguodala said he felt a pop in his left hamstring. "That's when I knew it was serious. ... I can't even walk right now."— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) November 23, 2013
It was a bad loss with some long-term repercussions but nothing that isn't tangibly fixable. Simply put, if Curry plays tomorrow, everything is going to be fine, even if Iguodala can't suit up. That's how much he means to this team. His shooting is unparalleled, but anyone that has claimed he isn't a point guard only need to watch the games he hasn't played this season to realize how stagnant and unimaginative the offense is without his presence. Klay Thompson, Barnes, David Lee are players that can make themselves better and feed off the creation of others. Curry elevates his own game but also those of everyone around him. Thompson isn't going to pick up Curry's passing or scoring; Lee won't suddenly add 15 points to his total; and as good as Iguodala is, he isn't nearly the same ball-handler or shooter. The Warriors have excellent role players and they work greatest when fitted as precisely that: role players.
But if you didn't know this already, you probably thought Monta Ellis was the better player.
The game itself was hard to watch for the same reason the Memphis Grizzlies game was such a slog-fest. The Warriors have set the bar high on offense with unselfish passing, knockdown passing and the ability to play within a comfort level that simultaneously remains aesthetically pleasing. So the easy things that rely on energy like going over screens when a shooter is dribbling, calling switches on baseline screens, and not forcing pull-up jumpers against the likes of Jordan Farmar remain habits of infectious ability rather than the lack of talent.
We gotta do this Warrior Wonder thing, huh? Even after a tough loss, this was as easy as it gets.
75 minutes in two games?! Pau Gasol scored 24 points on 11-19 shooting but most came on jumpers and impossible-to-guard Dirk-esque fadeaways. On the other side of the ball, Bogut was surprisingly -- still, even though he's been this way all season -- nimble, leading several fastbreaks and sprinting so fast on one it looked like a white unicorn was galloping along the sidelines. He still can't make free throws or jump hooks but I won't ever care as long he's healthy and doing things like dribbling and dunking. I'll have a video breakdown of his defensive efforts next Monday. The Warriors are a sieve when he isn't in the game, akin to watching a dam open up. We can only hope and pray he holds up for the rest of the season because the Warriors need him now more than ever.
1. It's Friday night, go have a drink. Or not. Did I even mention the final score? 95-102. Bleh.