The Golden State Warriors didn’t only suffer a tough loss to the Boston Celtic on Tuesday night, but they also lost their only healthy true Center, Kevon Looney due to an ankle injury. In addition to James Wiseman and Marquese Chriss being out, the Warriors are left with zero true centers with their upcoming road trip to Texas and don’t plan to acquire one.
Kevon Looney Suffers Ankle Injury
Looney, the last healthy true Center in the Golden State roster, rolled his left ankle in the second quarter of the Warriors’ 111-107 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday. Limping to the locker room, it was later found out that the big man had endured a sprained ankle. After being evaluated he is set to miss at least two weeks before being re-evaluated.
This puts the Warriors in a bind due to the earlier news of their No. 2 overall pick, Wiseman, already missing at least a week of play due to a wrist injury. The injury will have him out for at least 7-10 days where he will then be re-evaluated. However, it is not certain that the rookie will return after this time period is up. Once he is re-evaluated it is possible that he could miss more playing time.
Now without Looney, Wiseman, and Chriss, who is out with a broken leg suffered earlier in the season, this means the Warriors are left with no centers going into their Texas road trip including two back-to-back matchups against the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs. These games are detrimental to the Warriors standing as Western Conference Finals contenders. The Warriors are just outside of playoff contention now and in order to grab the eighth seed and losing to conference competitors is the last thing the Warriors need now.
How the Warriors Plan To Combat Having No Centers
With Looney now out for the next few games, this leaves the Warriors in an odd situation regarding their frontcourt. The Warriors have had success in the past with Draymond Green playing the 5 in a more small-ball lineup. However, Green hasn’t been playing as his dominant self for the majority of this season due to an injury but also taking rookie Wiseman under his wing. The former 2017 Defensive Player of the Year is averaging just 4.6 rebounds per game this season, which happens to be the lowest average of his career since his first season in the league back in 2013.
Even with Looney and Wiseman in the lineup, the Warriors are in the place in the entire league when it comes to rebounding. Taking away their two best rebounding options seems to be an upcoming issue for the Warriors in the future.
Hopefully, head coach Steve Kerr can find a solution to the Warriors’ big man issue. Per Anthony Slater’s Twitter, the Warriors have no intentions of acquiring a player to fill this void in the meantime. It is evident that the team will probably go with Green or Juan Toscano-Anderson as small-ball fives during this period.
Toscano-Anderson was a good fill-in after Looney’s injury on Tuesday in his 27 minutes of play, playing impactful defense while scoring 16 points on 3-for-3 from three-pointer.