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Warriors at Suns preview: Operation Bubble Wrap

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Another game, another injury; wins are unimportant.

Golden State Warriors v Detroit Pistons Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Dear Basketball Gods,

We have suffered through Speedy Claxton as a starter. We’ve seen the meteoric rise and fall of such would-be greats as Andris Biedrins, Kelena Azubuike, and even sat through a lost season of Monta Ellis after a damn Vespa crash. We have suffered, they have bled.

Have we fans maaaaybe been a touch too cocky? Ok, yes. But we were grateful at the same time.

So humbly, we ask, in Threesus’ name: please no more injuries.

-Klaymen

Game Details

WHO: Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns

WHEN: Saturday, March 17th; 7:00 p.m.

WATCH: NBCSBA

RADIO: 95.7 The Game

Blog Buddy: Bright Side of the Sun

Even depleted, the Warriors have some good things going

Hopefully, I’ve covered my bases with my opening prayer, because I’ve convinced myself that all these injuries aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

With the Houston Rockets running away with the top seed and our nearest threat (the third seeded Portland Trailblazers) safely nine losses behind us in the standings, the injuries have turned into forced rest for our All-Stars.

If you’ve had a bad feeling about this season and the Warriors’ chances headed into the post season, then the recent rash of injuries is probably making you even more nervous. But on the other hand, all/most of the hurt players should be back in a week or two, allowing a nice little ramp up of at least 10 days or so before the games start to matter again... though I’d still like to see Draymond Green given more down time to get that shoulder right.

Meanwhile, activities on the court have turned for young guard Quinn Cook. After coming up from the G-League, Cook struggled initially to find his NBA legs. But last night he stepped into the spotlight and outplayed his Kings counterpart. 25 points, and three each for assists and rebounds over the course of 40 extremely stable minutes as he led the team in scoring.

Plus, now that the team is down another wing player, could it finally be time for us to see extended minutes from our other G-League players, Damian Jones and Chris Boucher? There’s really no reason not to.

Cook’s future and the Warriors’ playoff roster

If it hadn’t been for an ill-timed Draymond Green “YOLO three,” as Anthony Slater called it, Cook should have also been responsible for taking the game’s last shot.

There have been rumblings about potentially clearing a roster spot for Cook to make him eligible to play for us in the playoffs, rumblings that were soundly shut down by Steve Kerr and Bob Myers, who stated that Casspi owned that roster spot. The team is cognizant of treating their players right, so are rightly hesitant to jettison a player that came to the team on a discounted contract.

Yet now that Casspi is hurt (MRI pending), this conversation is re-opened.

Apparently, there is a separate rule from the injury exception that would actually keep this option open, even this close to the end of the season.

Ok, so we can do it; the lingering question is of course: “do we want to?” If I’m wondering about something like this, you can rest assured that Kerr, Myers and the rest of the Warriors’ front office have kicked this scenario around for months. I guess the final decision will rest on the results of the pending Casspi MRI and diagnosis. And if Casspi really is out for an extended period, it’s going to be hard for the Warriors to resist sacrificing a wing who has struggled to maintain his place in the rotation all season in order to keep Cook - he seems to have a much less redundant skill set for the team.

For now, this is just talk. Cook will definitely finish out the regular season with the team - leaving the tougher decisions for later on down the road.

The Suns. Oh god, the Suns

They’re bad, y’all. Real bad.

At 19-51 on the season, the Suns currently possess the second-worst winning percentage in the league ahead of only Memphis. They’ve lost each of their last seven games, and 22 of 24 dating back to January 22.

Compounding their struggle, the Suns’ best player, Devin Booker is listed as “questionable” with a wrist injury.

I don’t have a lot to say about this team right now. They definitely have some intriguing young talent and could for sure end up beating whatever you want to call this depleted version of the Warriors, even without Booker. But one thing I’m sure of is that this is going to be one ugly game. On the bright side, the Suns struggle mostly on defense, so it’s possible the Warriors moribund, injury-fueled offense can find some life against them.

This is another meaningless game and one that neither team would be especially concerned about losing. The only thing that matters is health.