Warriors Starter Questionable For Game 3 Against Mavericks

Steve Kerr Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr might have a limited roster for Game 3 against the Boston Celtics.

The Golden State Warriors may be without one of their starters and most important defensive players come Sunday night’s Game 3 matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

With a little less than 2 minutes and 30 seconds left to play in the second quarter of Game 2 on Friday, May 20, Dubs forward Andrew Wiggins sprained his left ankle after driving into the lane and taking contact on a layup attempt.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic posted a video of the play via Twitter on Saturday.

“Here is the late first half play where Andrew Wiggins twisted his left ankle,” Slater wrote. “It has him questionable for Game 3. Wiggins played 20 second half minutes on it. He’s long been one of the most durable players in the league.”

While adrenaline and in-game attention from the Golden State training staff kept Wiggins available for much of the second half, during which the Warriors staged a crucial comeback to capture a 2-0 lead in the series, the forward’s ankle has clearly grown worse for wear since the contest ended.

Slater also reported Saturday that Wiggins’ official status for Game 3 in Dallas is listed as “questionable.”

“Andrew Wiggins is questionable for Game 3 in Dallas with left ankle soreness,” Slater tweeted. “Status to monitor in the next 24 hours.”

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Warriors Optimistic Wiggins Will Be Ready to Go Against Mavericks

Andrew Wiggins

GettyForward Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball during the first half of an NBA game at Footprint Center on November 30, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As Slater noted, Wiggins has been an incredibly reliable player over his NBA tenure, which is encouraging in terms of his prospects to return following the ankle sprain.

Wiggins played in and started 71 of 72 regular season games for the Warriors two years ago, when the league shortened the season by 10 games. The forward also appeared in and started 73 contests for the Dubs in 2021-22. Over the course of his first four years in the NBA, Wiggins missed just one regular season game total, per Basketball Reference.

Due to both Wiggins’ track record of physical resilience and his ability to continue playing after sustaining the ankle injury in Game 2, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that he “expects” Wiggins to be available. Slater also reported those comments via Twitter.

“Steve Kerr on Andrew Wiggins: “I expect him to play (in Game 3),” Slater wrote. “Technically he’s questionable, but I expect him to play.”

Losing Wiggins Would be Huge Blow to Warriors’ Defense

Stephen Curry Gary Payton II Warriors

GettyGolden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II celebrates with Stephen Curry during a game against the Phoenix Suns.

Wiggins has been a key piece to the Warriors’ defensive strategy as it pertains to Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic. Losing him for any stretch would consequently border on the catastrophic, particularly considering the absences of both guard Gary Payton II and forward Andre Iguodala — two of the Dubs’ best perimeter defenders.

Golden State updated the statuses of both players on Friday. In the official release, the team said that Payton would be re-evaluated in one week. He has missed more than two weeks already with a fractured elbow he suffered during Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies. His initial return timeline was set between three and five weeks.

Iguodala, who has missed nine games with a neck injury suffered late in round one against the Denver Nuggets, is continuing individual workouts and weight training. The Warriors said his availability would be updated once he began practicing again with the entire team.

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