The Golden State Warriors lost a heart breaker on Saturday evening in Game 1 of their playoff series with the Denver Nuggets. Andre Miller went off the dribble as the clock was winding down, slicing his way to the hoop for the game’s go-ahead basket.
As the Warriors prepare to recuperate from their Game 1 loss on Tuesday night, Golden State must now move forward without David Lee, who suffered a torn hip flexor on Saturday. Sure, even after Lee went down with the injury on Saturday night, the Warriors could have had the opportunity to steal the game on the road, but now that the dust has settled, there’s no denying that Golden State is in trouble.
During the regular season, Lee averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He was second on the team in offense to only Stephen Curry and was the team’s leading rebounder. Andrew Bogut now takes over that title, averaging 5.5 boards per game. Now, it would have been tough for the Warriors to overcome those types of numbers even if this injury happened in February, but the fact that it happened on Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs is simply devastating. It’s tough to adjust to life without one of your star performers, let alone in a playoff series where each game is virtually do-or-die.
Not only is losing Lee’s production devastating, but there isn’t exactly the greatest of depth behind him either. Carl Landry will be the biggest name that will need to step up, but aside from him and Bogut, the Warriors don’t have much. Festus Ezeli will probably see some added minutes, but Golden State head coach Mark Jackson will also have to use some smaller lineups, most notably with Draymond Green. Ironically enough, Green was the one defending Miller on the final play of Game 1 and we know how that turned out.
Golden State will certainly be looking to adjust, but it’s going to be more than difficult to survive without Lee in the lineup.
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