The Golden State Warriors returned to the court on Monday for the first time since the sudden death and traumatizing death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.
Golden State was in Utah last Tuesday to conclude its three-game road trip against the Jazz, and nearly 75% of the Warriors players and staff attended a dinner that night when Milojevic suffered a fatal heart attack.
"(Dejan) was a guy who just constantly saw the good in people."
– Steve Kerr on Dejan Milojević pic.twitter.com/sOo6sB2CRP
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 23, 2024
NBA Rumors: Gary Payton II and Moses Moody Injury Updates, LeBron Out, and Atlanta Division Big Men Hurting
The NBA canceled the Warriors remaining two games last week as coach Steve Kerr told ESPN’s Kendra Andrews and other media members that the team was too devastated to play.
“It’s hard to describe that last week. “Heartbreaking. Devastating. It’s the saddest thing I have ever been a part of in the NBA … The last five days have been full of the shock, the emotion, the extreme outpouring of love from all over the world.”
The Warriors began their Monday session by watching a nearly 15-minute tribute from Belgrade, Milojevic’s hometown. A tribute game was being held between Milojevic’s former team, Mega Basket, and Partizan, the team which he played for.
Golden State (18-22) will host Atlanta (18-25) on Wednesday. The franchise is planning a tribute to Milojevic and will honor him throughout the season.
"(Dejan) was somebody that loved to teach. He loved to spread his knowledge and his love." – Kevon Looney on Dejan Milojević pic.twitter.com/U1XSm4AsHj
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 23, 2024
Golden State Injury Updates
Golden State will remain shorthanded in the backcourt for the next couple of weeks. The Warriors announced yesterday afternoon that Moses Moody has been cleared to resume “light individual on-court workouts” since being declared out with a grade 1 left calf strain on January 10. However, Moody will remain sidelined until at least next Monday, when he will be re-evaluated.
Meanwhile, Gary Payton II will be out another two weeks before he is re-evaluated. Payton, who has been out since January 2 due to a left hamstring injury, also has been cleared for light on-court workouts,
Chris Paul is also expected to be re-evaluated next week, the third week since undergoing surgery on his left fractured hand. More news will likely be forthcoming on Paul’s recovery, but he was initially scheduled to be out for four-to-six weeks.
LeBron James Is Out On Tuesday
The Los Angeles Lakers (22-22) will face their housemates, the Los Angeles Clippers (27-14), tonight for the third time this season. However, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Lakers will be shorthanded as LeBron James will sit out the contest due to left ankle soreness.
The Lakers have surprisingly struggled this season, while the Clippers have remained relatively healthy and thriving. Still, the Lakers have won the first two games of the series by a total of eight points.
The Lakers split their last 10 games and sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Clippers have won 10 of 12 and are fourth in the conference.
This will be the fifth game that James sits out this season. The Lakers are 2-2 in those contests.
With James out, Rui Hachimura will likely get another start. Hachimura started in place of Jarred Vanderbilt on Sunday, finishing with nine points, two rebounds, and two assists. Hachimura has been much more productive as a starter, compiling 13.3 points with a slash line of .558/.357/.773.
Vanderbilt and Anthony Davis are also on the Lakers’ injury report, but both are likely to play. Per Mike Trudell of Spectrum SportsNet reports, Davis is dealing with Achilles tendinopathy in both feet.
LeBron is listed as OUT for tomorrow’s game against the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/Cf6eqAaerF
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 23, 2024
On the plus side, Taurean Prince is not on the Lakers’ injury report after sitting out Sunday’s win over Portland due to left knee soreness.
Darvin Ham says Taurean Prince “has been fighting through some pain for some time now” in his left knee and they wanted to give him a night off to get right. He’ll be day to day.
Anthony Davis (Achilles tendinopathy) will be a gametime decision.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 22, 2024
- New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein would miss some time due to soreness in his left foot and ankle, according to Ian Begley of SNY TV. Hartenstein is dealing with Achilles tendinopathy, and the Knicks will see how he feels on Tuesday before determining his status for their matchup with Brooklyn.
Tom Thibodeau said after practice today that Isaiah Hartenstein's left foot/ankle is sore and Knicks will see how he feels tomorrow before determining his status for Knicks-Nets on Tuesday night, per @TeddyAviles
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 22, 2024
Hartenstein tweaked his left ankle Saturday against the Raptors and could not return. He did not practice on Monday.
If Hartenstein does miss some time, Coach Tom Thibodeau said Jericho Sims and Precious Achiuwa will see some extra minutes. Thibodeau also said Julius Randle or OG Anunoby could also get minutes at center.
- Toronto Raptors center Jakob Poeltl has been out since January 7 due to an ankle injury. But coach Darko Rajakovic said yesterday that he is progressing well, and the Raptors are hoping to get him back “very, very soon,” Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca reports.
Toronto fell to Memphis 108-100 last night, marking their third straight loss and seven of eight. The Raptors host the Clippers on Friday and then begin a six-game road trip in Atlanta on Sunday.
Jontay Porter has been starting in place of Poeltl lately. However, Porter is averaging 15.6 minutes on the season in 11 appearances and saw just six minutes of action against the Grizzlies last night.