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Born under a bad sign
I been down since I begin to crawl
If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all
-Albert King, “Born Under a Bad Sign”
Andrew Bogut! Stephen Curry! Kevin Love! Ricky Rubio! Brandon Roy! It’s the Golden State Warriors/Minnesota Timberwolves injury report, up next on Fox Sports North!
Teams in the NBA pursue talented role players because depth is important. It’s important because no team can reasonably expect to go the entire season with all of their players healthy. The Wolves have been devastated by injuries, well beyond the point that any team should reasonably expect or prepare for. At this point, it’s almost a joke (almost) because of the sheer ridiculous volume and importance of the various injured players.
But Golden State, though less snakebitten, hasn’t exactly been a picture of health either. Stephen Curry, though he has managed to stay somewhat healthy this year, is still listed as day-to-day because of ongoing injuries; a fact which makes Warrior fans cringe when thinking about his brand-new 4-year $44 million contract. Andrew Bogut, originally thought to be out just 7-10 days, has now had his return pushed back. Given Bogut’s previous health problems, this is more than a little bit concerning for Golden State.
But injuries to Bogut and Curry don’t render the Warriors toothless. Carl Landry, coming off Golden State’s bench for 26 minutes per game, has a PER of 23.6 so far this season. Klay Thompson, though at the moment little more than a volume scorer, still finds ways to put the ball in the basket, averaging exactly 16 points per 36 minutes.
Golden State’s biggest problem, however, is shooting efficiency. Curry and Thompson both average roughly five made field goals on 15 attempts per game, not the most efficient way a team can get (combined) 32 points. David Lee, he of the $80 million contract, has a TS% of .476 for the season, which is pretty abysmal .
Even with their injury problems, the Wolves aren’t assured a loss. They will once again be forced to lean heavily on the contributions of Kirilenko, who has played like a bona-fide All-Star so far this season. We are still waiting on word about Brandon Roy, Nikola Pekovic, Malcolm Lee and JJ Barea (GOOD LORD), so just how heavily the burden will fall on AK-47 remains to be seen.
The game starts at 7 pm on Fox Sports North. Bring your rabbit’s foot.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.