Three Warriors have made progress toward the NBA Finals

Gary Payton II is anticipated to return for the Golden State Warriors at some point during the NBA Finals after suffering a fractured left elbow in the second round of the playoffs after Dillon Brooks committed a harsh foul above his head while attempting a layup.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Thursday night at Chase Center, slightly more than four weeks after Payton’s embarrassing fall against Memphis on May 3 — which is within the expected range for his recovery. Payton is left-handed, but during his rehabilitation he has been developing strength in both arms.

Brooks earned a Flagrant 2 penalty, was ejected, and subsequently banned for one game without pay for “unnecessary and excessive contact,” as described by the NBA. Andre Iguodala and Otto Porter Jr. are also making progress toward a return to action. Iguodala has missed the last 12 games due to a cervical disc injury in his neck, while Porter has missed the last two games against the Mavericks due to pain in his left foot.

As with Payton, they are both being reintroduced to practice and will be evaluated depending on how they respond to each day’s incremental increase in intensity. The Warriors are optimistic that everyone will be well enough to participate in the finals. Sunday’s coach Steve Kerr stated, “That’s our goal, but we’ll have a better idea after the next few days of practice.”


Written by Brook Smith

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