The Golden State Warriors are back home, after wrapping up a scintillating 4-1 road trip that just might have saved their season. But being home doesn’t necessarily make things easier, as the Dubs are hosting one of the most potent and dangerous teams in the NBA: the Phoenix Suns, lead by the high-scoring triumvirate of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal. A triumvirate that is, at long last, mostly healthy.
But there’s huge news for the Dubs: Gary Payton II is back! Payton has been cleared to play tonight, and doesn’t even appear on the injury report. His return is huge for the defense and leadership that he brings to the court ... the former of which is extra important when facing Booker and Beal. Don’t expect Payton to play a ton of minutes ... he’s missed 16 consecutive games, and 32 of the last 36 contests. So he’ll probably be eased back into action. But dang will it be nice to see him on the court.
Here’s the rest of the injury report.
Out — Chris Paul (left hand fracture)
CP3 is the lone person on the injury report for Golden State, and that’s great to see (great to see that there’s only one name, not that Paul is injured!). It looks like his return is right around the corner, and I think it could transform Golden State. They appear to be on the precipice of breaking through, and shoring up the bench with one of the best point guards in NBA history — who, in my opinion, has been the second-best Warrior when healthy — could push the Dubs over the edge.
Out — Damion Lee (right meniscus surgery)
Lee, a former Warrior and Splash Brother-In-Law, hasn’t played this year after undergoing surgery shortly before the season began. It seems he’s still a ways away from returning.
Probable — Bradley Beal (right ankle sprain)
Beal hasn’t been on the court much during his first year with Phoenix. He’s played in just 28 games, and is averaging his lowest points per game (18.8) since 2015-16. He’s still darn good though.
Enjoy the action, Dub Nation!