Barnes’ Injury Could Rattle Warriors’ Rotation; Lakers Mull Big Man Mix

SHANGHAI, China – The Warriors and Harrison Barnes are expressing confidence that the injury to Barnes’ left foot is not major and that sitting him for exhibition games is just precautionary. Still, the injury could have major repercussions for the second-year small forward and the entire rotation if it lingers into the season.

Coach Mark Jackson has maintained he has open spots at shooting guard and small forward. He says that Andre Iguodala is a candidate for one of the starting jobs, not an automatic after arriving as a free agent with a four-year, $48-million deal. With Stephen Curry set at point guard, David Lee at power forward and Andrew Bogut at center, Klay Thompson, Igoudala and Barnes are challenging for the opening lineup at the two other positions.

Now, though, Barnes has missed two games, most of another, and will not face the Lakers on Friday night at Mercedes-Benz Arena (7:30 a.m. ET, NBA TV) here before both teams return to California. There is no indication when he will play, only statements that the Warriors are simply getting him rest when the calendar allows.

But, Jackson said, “Unfortunately [the injury] has got to play a factor because you didn’t really get to see those units together, no matter who it is. The good thing is, I know all of these guys. I envisioned when we got Andre how I would utilize all of them and that hasn’t changed.”

If Barnes starts for the second season in a row, it will be in the front court, no matter who Jackson picks as shooting guard. If Barnes does not start, Iguodala will be the small forward and Thompson the shooting guard.

The Warriors have two exhibition games remaining after returning to the United States, Wednesday at Sacramento and Thursday against the Trail Blazers in Portland. Golden State opens the regular season Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he has not made a decision on the starting power forward and center. Pau Gasol gets one of the jobs. The decision for D’Antoni is whether Gasol plays power forward next to Chris Kaman at center or Gasol opens at center with Jordan Hill at power forward.

5 Comments

  1. jeff says:

    I think they will go with Andre and Thompson as Thompson’s height and three point shooting spreads the floor. Iggy is a great defender and has plenty of ball smarts so I think he will start as well. Harrison Barnes had a blinder in his rookie year (was overlooked for ROY award – although it did have a deserving winner), he will get better and stronger and I wouldn’t mind betting that they each get about 30+ mins a game, which leaves about 8 for the other SF and SG’s. A great position to be in tho, I think GSW will have a solid year.

  2. Tikolo says:

    We all have the right to decide what is best for us at any particular time. It might not be what everyone would like to hear but one can make decisions that best suits them at any time no matter who they are. REMEMBER GUYS THIS IS AMERICA: LEARN OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE:

  3. Bob says:

    There is plenty of situations for all those guys to get minutes. Injuries are a big part of the NBA. Foul trouble is another variable, match ups with opponent, too. Larry Bird said, you want to have all the talent you can get. It’s not about touches or “it’s my team,” it’s winning as a team.

  4. Unkle Daddy says:

    I say each one of the three gets a starting job for three games after that the two that play the best start, that simple.

    • JayEm1325 says:

      Sample size is too small, plus competition is a factor, you would need controlled variables (same schedule, vs same team, same crowd, etc) and only change the starting line up, which will not happen. Team matchups are too a big factor, one day going small is better, sometimes going big is better.