The Golden State Warriors are in an interesting position: They’re hurt with limited time before the playoffs start, but they certainly aren’t worried about it.
According to head coach Steve Kerr, Stephen Curry (right ankle tweak) and Kevin Durant (incomplete rib cartilage fracture) practiced on Wednesday. Klay Thompson (right thumb fracture) wasn’t a full participation but he got some work in. Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) was the only All Star not to practice in some way.
“We’re going to be cautious with all of them,” Kerr told reporters. “I don’t expect KD to play this week.”
But Curry will take the floor on Friday, barring any setbacks, according to general manager Bob Myers on 95.7 The Game. Myers also revealed on his weekly radio appearance that Thompson’s status for Sunday’s game against the Jazz is a “maybe,” and they’re targeting a return before April 1 for Durant. Green is truly “day-to-day” after taking a knee to the groin in San Antonio.
Curry’s imminent return means Quinn Cook’s stretch as the Warriors’ primary scorer is over for the foreseeable future. The former Dukie has carried the load in the six games Curry has missed. He’s averaged 16.3 points (on 52.7 percent shooting) in 34 minutes per game.
The performance has earned him high praise from Kerr and others, leading to speculation that he’ll replace Omri Casspi on the playoff roster. Since Cook is on a two-day deal, the Warriors are required to cut someone to add him to their roster — which currently doesn’t happen any openings — for the playoffs.
Casspi has struggled for most of his year with Golden State. He’s averaged 5.7 points per game and has failed to provide the 3-point shooting from the bench that he was signed to provide. He’s attempted just 22 deep balls all season.
But Casspi, who is recovering from a sprained right ankle, isn’t looking to address any rumors that he might not be around for a playoff run.
“First of all, it’s you guys [the media] talking. I don’t feel it from our organization,” Casspi said. “At the end of the day, I’m focusing on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control. Feel like the team needs me and I know what I can bring to the team.”
The Warriors’ primary focus right now is gearing up for the playoffs. They aren’t apathetic about these games remaining, but they believe they know what they have and are likely comfortable shaking off whatever rust they have in the first round against the inevitable seven seed.
And due to the uncertainty of the Western Conference standings — eight teams could possibly end up facing the Warriors — they aren’t spending too much time looking ahead, either.
“It’s still impossible,” Kerr said. “… A lot can still happen. I’m not looking at any one matchup.”
So in the meantime the Warriors will get their rest and attention from team doctors, because when the time comes for them to actually engage with the 2017-18 season, Kerr is more than convinced they’ll answer the call.
“It’s not a concern of mine that we’re not going to be able to find the rhythm,” he said. “I’m very comfortable with that.”