The Golden State Warriors have won three NBA championships this decade because of their three stars. Today, all three are suffering from injuries and their hopes for continued success are looking more like fantasy than an expected outcome.
Considered one of the best defensive players in basketball and the muscle of the Warriors team, forward Draymond Green was expected to carry a larger load this year with key departures during the off-season. However, during a loss on November 1 against the San Antonio Spurs, the former Defensive Player of the Year suffered a torn ligament in his left index finger, which, according to head coach Steve Kerr, will sideline him for the next few games.
As the face of the Warriors’ current dynasty and one of the greatest point guards of all time, Stephen Curry is a slam dunk first-ballot Hall of Famer (sorry MJ). Curry is the only player in history to be a unanimous MVP award winner and the only player to hit 400 three-point shots in a single season. Unfortunately, because of a nasty fall on October 30, Curry now faces a three-month absence from the court as he recovers from a broken left hand, leaving Golden State without their most valuable player until the new year.
Klay Thompson is the perfect balance between Curry’s offensive game and Draymond’s defensive prowess. Like Curry, Thompson is one of the game’s greatest shooters, forming the backcourt known as “The Splash Brothers” and like Green, he is one of the game’s best defensive players.
During last season’s NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Thompson shot for a higher percentage on the court than Curry, even with missing a game during the series with a hamstring injury. Thompson returned and, unfortunately, suffered a torn left ACL late in the final game of the series. After suffering the injury, he was still able to make both his free throws before leaving with a game-high of 30 points. However, the injury will take a full year to rehab and coach Steve Kerr calling a mid-season return “unlikely,” Thompson 2019-20 NBA season looks to be spent in dress clothes instead of a uniform.
Realistically, Draymond Green should return within a few games. But in the deep and competitive Western Conference and without the talents of Steph Curry until February chances are down exponentially. According to DraftKing Sportsbook, only two teams have a lower chance of winning their division in the West than the former champs.