Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the Dubs as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askKerith.
Hello everyone! The longest road trip left on the schedule comes next week, after the Warriors face the Pacers tonight. It’s an East Coast swing that will cover Philadelphia Boston, Cleveland, Washington and Brooklyn. After that, three games left until the All-Star Break.
Don’t forget, an update about Steph Curry will come on Feb 1. And we’ll learn more about Klay Thompson’s rehab around the All-Star Break.
@bakumshakum The injuries this year seem so severe. How out of the ordinary is what the Warriors are going through? A lot? Not at all?
Injuries bite every team, but the severity differs in terms of players affected, and how serious the injuries are.
The Warriors have played 46 games. As of this morning, consider how many games the core Warriors from last season have missed:
Thompson: 46 (ACL rehab)
Curry: 42 (broken hand)
Draymond Green: 13 (heel soreness, finger sprain, rolled ankle, illness, rest)
Kevon Looney: 35 (neuropathy, abdominal soreness)
Other players who have missed at least 10 games are:
D’Angelo Russell: 18 (thumb sprain, ankle sprain, shoulder contusion)
Jacob Evans: 24 (adductor strain, concussion)
Damion Lee: 14 (broken hand)
In total, Warriors players have missed 228 games due to injuries.
This a random comparison but this is what I could find deep in my inbox from last season ... The game notes for Game 3 of the playoff series with the Rockets indicate the Warriors had a total of 181 games missed due to injury. To be at 228 today is eye-popping.
@CrazyBeauti_Ful Do coaches get time off too? #askKerith
This summer they will. When the Warriors play deep into the playoffs, that flows into the draft, then Summer League. Before they know it, training camp is here.
This season has a different flavor. The off-season will be longer with no playoffs.
Coaches also get the All-Star break off. This is the time of year when everyone starts asking, “What are you doing for All-Star?” Plans range from staying at home to catch up on life, or getaways to San Diego, Mexico or Hawaii.
@AnneHarr13 After half a season of games, do you think Chase Center is beginning to feel like "home" to the players and staff? And how is your workstation location working out?
I think so. It’s a big change even though the arenas are only about 16 miles apart. There’s a bridge to cross to different sides of the Bay. There’s a culture change.
The routine is new for players and coaches. They had to discover the quickest routes to work in San Francisco in unfamiliar traffic patterns. Then they had to familiarize themselves with the building. That means new routines.
For example, the new locker room has a short flight of stairs to climb before players reach the hallway to jog out to the court. At Oracle, they sprinted from their locker-room door to the arena floor without interruption. There’s no tunnel shot for Steph anymore.
It takes time. Fans are getting used to the new digs, too. I like to ask visiting sideline reporters what they think of Chase Center. They say it’s beautiful and the newness shines.
My workstation is nicer at Chase Center. I’m in the Warriors' tunnel, uncovered by bleacher seats. Peanut shells no longer fall on my head.
@JeffFedorko With Jordan Poole playing good basketball, does it take some of the pressure off the team to make a move to get Bowman on the team and off his two-way deal?
Jordan playing well helps during games, but there’s not the same urgency to make a deal for Ky Bowman as there was for Damion Lee.
Damion isn’t a rookie, and he paid his dues with the Dubs. He has been patient and a good scorer and rebounder for the team. Bowman is also good for the team as an electric player, but Golden State owns his rights and he can be stashed in the G League for now. The Warriors don’t have any roster spots open, plus they’re hard-capped.
The Warriors want Bowman around, but his situation with the big club is on pause for now.
@imthatchick1870 Any time limit on when Smiley will return? He’s fun to watch!
The ideal place for Alen Smailagic is the G League, which was the plan all along. Injuries for the big club opened opportunities for Smiley to play. He did well. But Smiley admitted, “I don’t know what I’m doing on the court,” and as charming as that was, it’s true. He plays hard, but a slower environment that matches his level is a better place for him at the moment.
He’s 19 years old. He was limited at the beginning of the season with an ankle injury. The Warriors can give him plenty of space to grow. He’ll have some brief stints with the Dubs because it’s helpful for him to be around the players, coache and trainers, but expect him to spend most of his time in Santa Cruz until the G League season is over in March.
@ichiro998 Do you wish that Seattle had an NBA team?
Yes, I do. Hearing Clay Bennett's name makes me scowl. While we’re at it, how about a team back in Vancouver, too?
@The_Regend Which NBA road arena is your favorite? #AskKerith
I’m mad about how Oklahoma City got its team, but the game experience there is positive. The arena workers are markedly different. They’re helpful! They’re polite! This feeling is more about the people than the arena itself, but I like OKC.
I like Toronto, Utah, Boston and New York as well.
@loganmmurdock Which arena has the best cookies in the league?
Sacramento by far. Do you see these salt flakes?
@erikquenzer Red Doritos or Blue Doritos?
Red! I like my chips with 100 ingredients and my fingers dusty.
@notjustinkaiser How was Pullman? #AskKerith
Amazing! Klay Thompson was in his element during his trip back to his alma mater for his jersey retirement ceremony. It was my first time back at school, too, in more than a decade. If you missed the coverage, check it out here.
This week’s high five goes to Warriors fan Darin, who made me laugh with this question:
@darinbunch Can we do something about the Warriors’ headband and ponytail issue? As a fan with a smallish TV and questionable vision, it’s getting tougher and tougher for me to identify D-Lo, D-Lee and J-Poole #AskKerith
I noticed this headband trio awhile back and asked the people for a nickname for this sweat-banded group. I’d like to thank my mother (my MOTHER!) for coming up with “The Schweddy Ballers.” It’s a play on a classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch you can see here.
Hi mom, I love you.
Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.