Warriors

Kevon Looney's hip soreness causing concern for Steve Kerr, Warriors

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Kevon Looney's hip soreness causing concern for Steve Kerr, Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO – The Kevon Looney saga continues but with diminishing optimism. The Warriors officially have reached the worry stage.

Looney was ruled out Thursday against the Raptors, the third consecutive game he has missed due to lingering soreness in his left hip.

“That’s a concern,” coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff at Chase Center.

Looney, who underwent separate surgeries on each hip in his first two NBA seasons, has missed 42 games this season – more than double the number of games missed over the last two seasons combined – and has averaged only 13.1 minutes in the 20 games he was available.

Looney has been coping with persistent neuropathy, which has resulted in discomfort in his right hamstring, left abdominal area and left hip. Not once this season has the forward/center played in more than seven consecutive games but there was optimism after playing five straight at the end of February.

“He had some momentum and was playing really well for us,” Kerr said. “So, this is a bump in the road, hopefully, but we’ll have an update tomorrow.”

Over the five-game stretch from Feb. 20-29, Looney averaged 5.0 points (11-of-28 shooting from the field), 4.0 rebounds and 17.4 minutes.

[RELATED: Steph's return helps these Warriors]

This has been a trying season for Looney, who turned 24 last month. After playing in 80 games last season and 66 in 2017-18, both he and the team had hoped he was beyond his hip issues.

And now, once again, there is legitimate reason for caution.

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Warriors' Draymond Green reveals two 'sleeper' teams in Orlando bubble

Who is going to reach the 2020 NBA Finals?

The majority of the basketball world believes the LA Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers will advance from the Western Conference, and either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors will punch the Eastern Conference's ticket.

Is there a "sleeper" in the West who could shock everybody? According to Warriors forward Draymond Green, that team is the Houston Rockets.

"They got Russ (Russell Westbrook), they got James (Harden) -- who obviously can both go for 40 or 50 on any given night," he said on "The Steam Room" podcast. "They got a bunch of shooters and they're going to create proglems for people, because they're playing this switching defense.

"And the first thing that people try to do -- we saw it the other day -- you try to pound the ball inside. You're not just gonna run James Harden over on the post. You're not just gonna run P.J. Tucker over. A lot of teams will make that mistake and Houston can be really sneaky."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

And the Miami Heat are Draymond's sleeper pick in the East.

"They play really hard, they got guys that are tied together," the three-time NBA champion explained. "They got my guy Andre (Iguodala), who we know during the Finals and playoffs is great. The only thing with the Heat is they struggle at times to find consistent scoring.

"But they got a lot of talent, a lot of pieces."

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

Yours truly wouldn't be shocked at all if the Rockets reach the NBA Finals, but would be stunned if the Heat get that far. 

But ultimately, anything can happen when there is no homecourt advantage.

The playoffs are going to be a blast.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Warriors' Draymond Green explains why he doesn't miss basketball now

Draymond Green last played in an NBA game Feb. 27. And he was on the court only for 10 minutes because he was ejected in the second quarter.

The Warriors forward last played at least 30 minutes in a game on Feb. 12, which was Golden State's final game before the All-Star break.

As you know, the Dubs are not playing in the Orlando bubble. And it's highly unlikely they participate either in a second bubble in Chicago or in a team minicamp at Chase Center.

So what has it been like for Draymond with nothing to do basketball wise?

"Honestly, it's been great," he told Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson on "The Steam Room" podcast. "I've had a lot of fun spending time with my family. I've gotten to know my fiancée better. I've gotten to know my kids better. That's been amazing.

"From a basketball standpoint -- I gotta be honest with you -- I don't necessarily miss playing basketball, because it's been such a long run that my body could use the break.

"But what I miss is competing at the highest level. The playoff basketball, playing in the Finals -- I miss that. Being able to compete at the highest level against the best players in the world."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

You can't blame the three-time NBA champion for wanting an extended breather. From 2015 to 2019, he suited up for 104 of the Warriors' 105 playoff games (he was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals), averaging 37.7 minutes per night.

Draymond has dealt with various ailments over the last couple of years, and needed to refresh his body and mind. He knows the Dubs still are months away from reconvening, and starting the quest to climb back to the top of the mountain.

[RELATED: Why Draymond is 'strongly against' a second NBA bubble]

But don't get it twisted. The 30-year-old is extremely motivated to be an All-Star again, and would love nothing more than to capture a fourth Larry O'Brien Trophy.

"When you go to the Finals, everybody is watching -- including the best basketball players in the world that (are not) in that game," he said. "That's always the most fun time to me, and I miss that."

If Draymond delivers on his personal goals, the Warriors just might get back to basketball's biggest stage in 2021.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram