The Golden State Warriors MASH, triage and Emergency Room personnel have now become the most important component of this team, keeping their players bandaged and properly diagnosed to get them through these last two, three, or four games of the season.
The playoffs have been injury laiden for the Warriors, the defending champions, but they’ve endured through the rounds and now stand as one of the last two teams remaining: the Golden State Warriors versus the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals.
Big man, Boogie Cousins, went down in Round 1. Top scorer, Kevin Durant in Round 2, and Andre Iguodala who provides strength on both sides of the ball went down in Round 3, the Western Conference Finals.
Fast forward to the NBA Finals. Game 2 Sunday night, President Barack Obama in Toronto’s building alongside NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Game 3 last night (Wednesday), Golden State’s first home game of the series. Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, the Warriors’ last games here before moving into a brand-new arena next season. Two pairs of courtside seats have sold for $101,000 and $93,000.
Both Cousins and Iguodala have returned. Both were needed. Both are contributing. Iguadola’s three at the end of Game 2 secured their first win, a game that had guard Stephen Curry returning to the lockerroom with a stomach ailment early in the first quarter, then Klay Thompson goes down in the fourth quarter, sustaining a hamstring injury coming off a three after losing his footing. Reserve Kevin Looney is out for the remainder of the season after defending Kahwi Leonard.
Thompson was questionable up until last night, Game 3, series tied one all, the Warriors’ first home game of the Finals. According to Thompson, the injury was minor. He’d be fine. According to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, “Klay could be half dead, and he would say he would be fine.”
For Golden State to be victorious, Thompson will have to be.
“I would do anything I can to be out there,” Thompson said, but he also understands that it’s in the hands of his team’s training staff.
“If there’s any pain, it will be a no-go, just because of the position we’re in,” Thompson explained, understanding that this could be a long series.
“There’s no point in trying to go out there and re-aggravate it [his hamstring], and potentially keep myself out of the whole entire Finals instead of just one game.”
Golden State’s bench will also have to be fine. The Warriors need their minutes, their defense, their points that Sean Livingston, Andrew Bogut and Quinn Cook have provided, 21 points combined Sunday. Three 3’s from Cook.
Sunday’s game was a great win for the Warriors, on Toronto’s floor, but there are still concerns. In addition to the injuries is getting one, hopefully two wins at home noted Kerr, proud, impressed with the resiliency of his team, “In particular, all the guys off the bench.”