Warriors proceeding without big men

Warriors proceeding without big men
March 29, 2014, 3:00 pm
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Marc Gasol caught Andrew Bogut with a knee, leaving the Warriors big man in serious pain. (USATSI)

Programming note: Knicks-Warriors coverage tips off Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

OAKLAND -- Beating long odds on Friday, the Warriors found a way to win without their starting big men. It's not the preferred formula, but they may want to bottle it for at least a few days.

Center Andrew Bogut joined power forward David Lee on the sideline, and there is no timetable for the return of either man.

Four minutes into the game against Memphis on Friday, Bogut took an incidental knee to groin from 7-foot-1 Grizzlies center Marc Gasol and never returned. He was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion and underwent an MRI test on Saturday.

"Watching the edit of it, it was a severe blow he took," coach Mark Jackson said Saturday after practice. "So he's still in some pain, plenty of pain, this morning."

So much pain, that Bogut on Saturday afternoon tweeted that he was unable to walk.

Lee has not practiced in a week, since straining his right hamstring in the March 22 loss to San Antonio. He did not participate in the team's light workout on Saturday and Jackson is bracing for the possibility that neither man will be available when they face the Knicks on Sunday at Oracle Arena.

And, yes, Jackson knows how badly Lee would like to face his former team.

"If he's not healthy, he won't play," the coach said. "He'll continue to get treatment, continue to do what he's got to do on that end, and we'll make a decision tomorrow.

"He hasn't done anything up to this point, running-wise, so we’ll be smart with him."

The Grizzlies, with the formidable inside combination of Zach Randolph and Gasol, may have the league's biggest power tandem. Yet the Warriors summoned the resolve to grind out the victory.

[RECAP: Warriors 100, Grizzlies 93]

They could not have done without the superb work of Marreese Speights, who started in place of Lee, and Draymond Green, who came off the bench to battle Randolph, who is two inches taller and 30 pounds heavier.

"It was key for me to come out and try to get stops," Green said. "And make him make tough shots. You don't think that you're just going to lock him down. But if you can make him take tough shots, he's going to miss some of those tough shots and you've done your job."

With Bogut and Lee uncertain for the next three games (Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday), Green and Speights may be summoned again to play more minutes than usual.

"You take any team in this league and you take away their starting power forward and center, they're not going to be the same," Jackson said. "With us, standard line: no excuses. We find a way to get it done."

 

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