SAN FRANCISCO -- In the waning moments of Golden State's latest loss Friday evening, the team's bench looked more like the front row of a fashion show than a functioning NBA roster.
Toward the end of the bench, All-Star guard Stephen Curry sat in a black suit jacket covering a massive cast protecting his broken left hand. To Curry's left, Kevon Looney sat in a gray suit, as his immediate future is in peril as he continues to find answers to an injured hamstring.
The visual has become a trend over the last month.
Over the stretch, 11 players have been sidelined with injuries, crippling a roster armed with an outside shot of making the postseason on opening night.
Golden State's latest blow came Saturday morning when an MRI confirmed guard D'Angelo Russell had suffered a sprained thumb, sidelining him at least two weeks. The news comes as the Warriors are in roster transition, marked by its youthful core. With the latest injury news, the younger player's development continues to come at a price.
When rookies Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall were drafted, the expectation was that the two players would be brought along slowly, learning behind Golden State's battered all-star cast. While Paschall has flourished, the guard has struggled. Since Curry's injury, he's shooting just 29 percent from the field, making just five his last 28 shots over his last two games.
On the eve of training camp, Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced Willie Cauley-Stein would miss most of October with a foot strain. Two days later, rookie Alen Smailagic rolled his ankle and Looney strained his hamstring in the same controlled scrimmage.
Last month, Curry broke his hand, sidelining the guard until at least February. Two nights later, forward Draymond Green tore a ligament in his left index finger. On Monday, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand, Entering Friday, the Warriors had allowed an average of more than 120 points per game, ranking last in defensive rating.
Amid the injuries, Kerr trouted out his ninth starting lineup of the season, starting two-way guard Ky Bowman at point guard. For the moment, it worked. Midway through the third quarter, two-way guard Ky Bowman intercepted a pass, ran crosscourt and dunked over forward Grant Williams, cutting Boston's lead to 3. Two minutes later, forward Alec Burk stripped Celtics guard Brandon Wanamaker, setting up a fastbreak layup to give Golden State a brief 82-80 lead.
Golden State's current reality is much different than its immediate past. After winning 78 percent of their games, the team now finds itself with a roster missing Kevin Durant to free agency, while Curry and Klay Thompson's rehabs are expected to last until at least February.
Russell's injury is the latest blow at a peculiar time for the team. Over his last six games, the guard is averaging 29.7 points on 48 percent from the field, including a 52 point, nine-rebound performance against Minnesota.
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Minutes after the final buzzer, the corridor leading to Golden State's locker room served as a reminder of the potential hopes lost. Curry's hand swelled out of his cast as he walked near a team official. In the locker room, Paschall sported an ice pack on his right-hand while Poole reconciled an ankle injury he said wouldn't affect him.
As the Warriors packed for another road trip, potentially with just eight healthy bodies for the foreseeable future, another reminder that the team's development is coming at a grave price was evident.