The Warriors opened their season Tuesday night with a loss in which they looked considerably worse than what is expected of a defending champion.
What’s worse is that they also feel it.
Though Andre Iguodala’s back strain recovered enough for him to participate in practice for the first time in a week, Draymond Green’s right knee sprain and Omri Casspi’s left ankle sprain kept them on the sideline Wednesday.
While Green awaits the results of an MRI test, Casspi was limited to individual shooting drills. The availability of both is in doubt for the game Friday night against the Pelicans in New Orleans.
Casspi, a reserve forward, has sustained injuries to both ankles in a five-day span and even if he’s able to play he won’t be at full strength.
Green simply will not return to the lineup until he’s able, though Kerr sounded optimistic about his chances this weekend.
“I don’t think it’s serious,” Kerr said. “But we’ll see.”
If Casspi can’t play, the bench thins along the front line. It would mean more minutes for the likes of Kevon Looney and Pat McCaw.
If Green can’t play, well, that makes a massive impact that runs from the starting lineup all the way through the reserves. His intensity, production and communication are important to the Warriors at both ends of the court.
Some of that would be mitigated by the return of Iguodala, who may be more optimistic than Kerr about his chances of playing Friday.
“If Andre is banged up, he won’t play,” Kerr said. We’ll just make do with what we have.
“Hopefully, Andre will be OK. He’s been getter better every day. He’s pretty confident that he’s on the right track. So hopefully, he’ll play.”
Considering there is a game against the Grizzlies in Memphis less than 20 hours after the final buzzer in New Orleans, the issue is not whether the defending champs will have their roster taxed but to what degree.