The Golden State Warriors lost Kevon Looney to a sprained ankle during Tuesday’s loss to the Boston Celtics, and it looks like Looney will miss a decent chunk of games. Which leaves the Warriors in a bit of a bizarre predicament: they don’t have a center.
Looney joins James Wiseman (sprained wrist), Marquese Chriss (broken leg), and Alen Smailagic (meniscal tear) in the injured centers club, leaving Draymond Green and Eric Paschall — who both stand just 6’6” — as the closest approximation the Dubs have to a center.
On the surface, Looney’s injury could not have come at a worse time, with Wiseman being shelved just a few days ago. But in reality, the timing is actually pretty good.
The Warriors are spending the next week in Texas, with two games against the reeling Dallas Mavericks followed by two games against the San Antonio Spurs. Both are dangerous teams, but neither has a dominant interior presence at the 5 (where Green and Paschall will have to move up) or the 4 (where a wing will have to slide in).
Let’s start with Dallas. The Mavs start Kristaps Porzingis at center. Porzingis is still a dangerous weapon, even if he’s not the force he was during his All-Star campaign a few years ago. But he can still win a game on his own, as he’s averaged 18.6 points per game with defense that is occasionally quite strong.