Good Morning Dub Nation,
As the Golden State Warriors return to game action against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, they will be without several key players including starters Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. The team announced that Curry is making good progress but will continue to miss time for at least another week, while Wiggins will also miss tonight’s game due to an undisclosed personal reason.
In other injury news, newly acquired Gary Payton II spoke to the media for the first time since being traded to Golden State from the Portland Trail Blazers at the deadline. The Warriors were excited to welcome Payton back to the Bay, however he has yet to appear in any games for the team after it was revealed he was playing through a core injury with the help of the painkiller Toradol. When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Payton said he wasn’t surprised by the results of his physical as he has been fighting through pain since having offseason surgery in September of last year.
Speaking to reporters for the first time since he was traded, Gary Payton II said he’s been dealing with “lingering pain” stemming from his offseason core surgery. He wasn’t surprised the Warriors medical staff flagged his physical, and he hopes to be back before the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/kJvE1lm556— Madeline Kenney (@madkenney) February 23, 2023
Payton also discussed what led to him using Toradol to play through injury. He cites his competitive spirit as the biggest motivation while also clarifying that the painkillers were not administered using a shot.
“That was me being a competitor, just wanting to get out there,” Payton told reporters on Wednesday. “No shots, though. Just had to get through it and get it done. The medical stuff wasn’t that big of a deal. I wanted to play and go out there and help my teammates and coaches. I was a bigger factor on the court than off the court. Me being 50% was better than nothing. I just had to get out there and help my team try to win.”
Here are some other notes from Payton’s media session.
Highlights of GPII's first Warrior media session this season:— Jason Dumas (@JDumasReports) February 23, 2023
-hopes to be back for postseason
-thinks Dubs can be top 5 offense if they are "more aggressive" and not worried about the refs
-Not surprised he failed physical
-Limited to rehab right now
-post-surgery pain was BAD pic.twitter.com/fn1ym2A61K
The Warriors are hoping Payton will be able to make his debut before the start of the postseason as the team has put a greater emphasis on improving their point of attack defense — a skill in which Payton is among the elite in the NBA. He was crucial to the team’s playoff success last season and will hopefully plug right back in once he makes his eventual return to the team.
Here are the rest of today’s stories:
In case you missed it from Golden State of Mind:
- Andrew Wiggins remains out for personal reasons
- Steph Curry ‘making good progress’ in recovery
- Steph Curry participates in non-contact drills for first time since injury
- 6 storylines that will define the home stretch
- What will the Warriors do with their final roster spot?
Other Warriors News:
- Gary Payton II: Wasn’t surprised Warriors flagged physical (ESPN)
- How a Kobe Bryant quote shaped Klay Thompson’s pregame preparation (ESPN)
- Warriors feel ‘recharged’ after much-needed 2023 NBA All-Star break (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Gary Payton II ‘blindsided’ by Warriors trade, hopes to be back by playoffs (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Kurtenbach: The Warriors’ formula for a turnaround is easy to spot, hard to execute (Mercury News)
- Westbrook ‘ready for the challenge’ of Clippers’ stretch run (ESPN)
- Kevin Durant targeting March 1 for Suns debut, per sources: Will this latest Super Team work? (The Athletic)
- Dwight Howard among 12 ejected in massive basketball brawl in Taiwan (New York Post)
- Miles Bridges says he could be playing for Hornets by March (AP News)
- Lakers Darvin Ham Would Like To See NBA Implement Bye Week Similar To NFL (Laker Nation)