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Gary Payton II officially out for Game 3 due to illness, while Jordan Poole is starting in place of Draymond Green

The mountain just got even higher.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

It was officially announced that Gary Payton II — arguably the Golden State Warriors’ best perimeter defender as well as one of their best screeners and roll men aside from the suspended Draymond Green — will not be available for Game 3 against the Sacramento Kings due to a sickness that sidelined him enough to miss practice yesterday.

The Warriors are now missing two of their best defenders. In a small albeit telling sample size of two games, the Green-Payton pairing has played 25 minutes together. In those 25 minutes:

  • The Kings are shooting 36.7% from the field (46.9% on twos and 17.6% on threes)
  • The Warriors have a defensive rating of 94.6 and have outscored the Kings by a total of nine points

Meanwhile, the Warriors have also announced that Jordan Poole will start in place of Green:

With his defensive options limited, Steve Kerr is seemingly aiming for a full-on offensive assault with this decision, which will most likely also slide Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins to the 3 and the 4, respectively.

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