It feels like injured players has been the theme to this year’s Golden State Warriors team. Watching the losses pile up while all of their best players sit on the sidelines can’t be any easier for the players than it has been for the fans, so thankfully, we all get a bit of a reprieve tonight when do-it-all forward Kevon Looney returns for his first basketball action in over a month.
He’ll be on a minutes restriction (both he and Draymond Green), but Looney’s return will bolster a paper-thin rotation that is finally starting to gel. This is the second night of a back-to-back for the Warriors and their nine- , now ten-player roster. Given the way the season has gone, and some lingering health concerns, coach Steve Kerr indicated that Draymond Green will not play in this game in order to rest on the tail end of a back-to-back.
Draymond Green will sit out Monday’s game in Atlanta, Steve Kerr says. Kerr says it’s for rest purposes.— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) December 2, 2019
WHO: Golden State Warriors (4-17) at Atlanta Hawks (4-16)
WHEN: Monday December 2, 2019; 4:30 pm PST
WHERE: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
WATCH: NBC Sport Bay Area
Blog Buddy: Peach Tree Hoops
Yeah, I know, I led with this same note, but let’s go ahead and revel in the return of Kevon Grant Looney a bit more.
Generally, Looney has slotted into Steve Kerr’s team as a nominal Big. His ability to maintain a post presence on both ends while also being able to survive getting switched onto smaller ballhandlers is an extremely useful and important element to surviving in the modern NBA.
Ironically, this is probably the team’s deepest position currently. Looney will join a rotation of Willie Cauley-Stein, Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman.
Warriors center Kevon Looney going through warmups. pic.twitter.com/YwdZngYrcw— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) December 1, 2019
For those who missed it, Looney has been out with one of the stranger injuries you’ll see. A neuropathic condition that has kept him off the court since the opening game of the season. As Monte Poole wrote for NBC, this is something that Looney is just going to have to deal with, rather than expect a full recovery from:
...it typically cannot be corrected by surgery or cured by medication or treatment. It can only be managed, which explains the uncertainty.
In Looney’s case, the symptoms were felt in his hamstrings, which felt strained, even though no actual strains were diagnosed. He conceded last week that he has been coping with the condition for “two or three years,” and several people afflicted with neuropathy say it never completely goes away.
The two- or three-year period referred to by Looney indicates it is related to surgeries on each hip. He underwent a procedure to repair a torn labrum in his right hip in August 2015, two months after the Warriors drafted him out of UCLA. Eight months later, in April 2016, he an arthroscopic procedure to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
Trae Young’s Hawks are pretty bad, but still favored
The Atlanta Hawks are not having a good season so far.
Trae Young is still doing exciting things, but no amount of crazy-deep threes have been able to lift the Hawks to victory. The team has lost 10 straight games now, and has looked every bit as bad as that statistic indicates.
From our friends over the Peach Tree Hoops, this is a rebuilding roster that just doesn’t have the pieces to compete at a high level in general; and that’s been compounded by injuries:
The Atlanta Hawks have lost ten games in a row and, since Kevin Huerter and John Collins exited the lineup, the team’s statistical profile is the worst in the NBA.
They’ve got Young (28.4 points, 8.4 assists per game), but not much else.
Of course, against the Warriors, you probably don’t really need all that much more.
Trae Young will go off, but the Hawks are just bad enough to allow the Warriors to steal a rare win on the road.
Dubs by three.