You could create a decent NBA contender with the list of players ruled out or doubtful for the Golden State Warriors-New Orleans Pelicans contest on Sunday.
Like, look at this:
Players out or doubtful for Warriors @ Pelicans tonight:— Mason Ginsberg (@MasonGinsberg) November 17, 2019
Toss aside the big names who these teams have been playing without for a while — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Zion Williamson — and there’s still an alarming amount of injuries left over.
For the Warriors, D’Angelo Russell will be out for at least two weeks with a sprained thumb sustained last week. Kevon Looney is out with a hamstring. Damion Lee suffered a fracture in his right hand last week and will also be out two weeks. Rookie Alen Smailagic (ankle) has yet to debut.
The Pelicans have nine players on their injury list, including the day-to-day JJ Redick and Frank Jackson. Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Jahlil Okafor and Darius Miller will not play Sunday, and Brandon Ingram and Derrick Favors are listed as doubtful.
Injuries upon injuries
The injury bug has bitten both of these teams very hard this season, and it is reflected in their records. The Warriors (2-11) have the worst record in the league, and the Pelicans (3-9) are second worst in the West.
That is unfortunate given both teams were expected to be much more competitive. The Warriors, despite losing Kevin Durant in free agency and Thompson to an ACL tear, still added Russell to a core of Curry and Green. But Curry broke his hand and a team coming off five straight Finals trips is now scouting potential lottery picks.
New Orleans, meanwhile, still had some growth to do even with a healthy roster after trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. But No. 1 overall pick Williamson had preseason surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, slowing down the hype for the Pelicans to start the season. A slew of injuries to other key contributors such as Ball, Ingram and Okafor have really set them back.
Warriors so depleted that Draymond Green will play point guard
This is just how injured the Warriors are: 6-foot-7 power forward Draymond Green is likely to play point guard on Sunday. He’s averaged 9 points, 4.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds off 41.5% shooting this season.
I’m hearing the Warriors are going to start Draymond Green at point guard today in New Orleans. Gives the Warriors a taller, like-sized, switchy group to open game: Draymond, Glenn Robinson, Alec Burks, Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 17, 2019
Who is healthy?
So who else is left over? The Warriors are literally one injury away from being at the league minimum requirement for healthy players:
Golden State is now down to 9 healthy players- 8 is the league requirement.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 16, 2019
G. Robinson III
The Pelicans’ list of players not on the injury list is down to: Jrue Holiday, Kenrich Williams, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, E’Twaun Moore, Jaxson Hayes and Zylan Cheatham.
This should be a fun game — in a sadistic sense.
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