The Golden State Warriors open the 2020-21 NBA season on Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, but they’ll likely be without their second-best player. On Saturday, coach Steve Kerr announced that three-time All-Star Draymond Green is doubtful for Tuesday.
We’ve known for a while that Green could miss the season opener, because he was late to training camp after contracting the coronavirus, and had to miss all three of the Warriors preseason games. However, that’s not what’s keeping him out now. Instead, it’s a sore foot that Green tweaked during a scrimmage.
According to Kerr, an MRI came back clean, so there’s no long-term worry. But Green didn’t participate in Saturday’s scrimmage, which was viewed as a chance for he and James Wiseman (who also had the coronavirus and missed the three preseason games) to work on getting into game shape before Tuesday.
Here’s what Kerr said on Saturday, as transcribed by ESPN’s Nick Friedell:
“Draymond did not practice, so he’s doubtful for Tuesday. He tweaked his foot in the scrimmage two days ago. Didn’t really know [how severe] until the next morning when he woke up; it was a little sore.”
Kerr admitted that Green could also miss the Christmas game against the Milwaukee Bucks, but that the team is confident he’ll play the rest of the road trip. The Dubs start the season with four straight road games, finishing off with a Dec. 27 game against the Chicago Bulls and a Dec. 29 game against the Detroit Pistons.
Losing Green’s leadership and playmaking ability is a big hit, and his defense will be tremendously missed, especially since he likely would’ve been matched up against Kevin Durant on Tuesday (and Giannis Antetokounmpo on Friday, if Green misses that game).
It seems likely that second-year player Eric Paschall will start in Green’s absence. Paschall started the first and third preseason games in Green’s place. He missed the second preseason game due to an injury, with the recently-waived Juan Toscano-Anderson starting.