The Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are facing off for the second time tonight, in an exciting game on ESPN that pits potential title challengers off to slow starts against each other. Back when the Suns eked by the Dubs on Opening Night, I lamented that the star-studded contest was missing a perennial All-Star cog for each team: Draymond Green for Golden State, and Bradley Beal for Phoenix. Unfortunately, both of those players are once again out as the teams face for the second of four regular season contests.
Here’s the full injury report.
Out — Draymond Green (league suspension)
There’s no denying that Green has been a critical part of the Warriors season, for better and for worse. If we count the two games in which he’s been ejected as missed games, then Golden State is 5-2 when he plays ... and 2-6 when he doesn’t. His defense, versatility, playmaking, and energy have been massive when he’s been on the court, and the absence has been felt enormously when he’s not.
This is the penultimate game in his five-game suspension for choking Rudy Gobert. He’s eligible to return on Tuesday when the Dubs host the Sacramento Kings.
Out — Gary Payton II (left foot strain)
Payton practiced on Tuesday, and there was a chance he would play tonight. That chance is no more, as GPII has been ruled out for the third straight game since suffering a foot injury. His absence will be felt against a team with Devin Booker, that’s for sure.
Out — Bradley Beal (low back strain)
Beal was the big get of the offseason for Phoenix, who traded now-Warriors guard Chris Paul for the three-time All-Star, to form a high-octane triumvirate with Booker and Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, a back injury has limited the sharpshooter to just three games this season. That was the concern for Phoenix, as Beal, Durant, and new center Jusuf Nurkić have all been plagued by injuries over the last four seasons.
Out — Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery)
It’s a bummer seeing Lee, a former Warrior who is beloved by Golden State’s players and coaching staff, not be able to play. He’s out indefinitely after undergoing surgery during training camp, though there’s a good chance that he returns this season.
Out — Yuta Watanabe (left quad contusion)
Count me among those who thought that Watanabe was a sneaky good pickup for the Suns, who traded depth for star power when they acquired Beal and Nurkić. The 6-foot-9 forward doesn’t fill up the stat sheet, but he’s been very solid for Phoenix, and is averaging a career high 18.6 minutes per game. This will be his third straight absence following a minor injury.
Available — Jordan Goodwin (jaw contusion)
A jaw contusion sure sounds awful, but it’s not going to keep Goodwin from playing. The third-year guard has played in every game this season, and will keep that streak going tonight, despite leaving Tuesday’s game early after getting popped in the face.
Enjoy the action, Dub Nation!