Pacific Notes: Green, Kuminga, Curry, James, Howard

The Warriors announced on Sunday that defensive stalwart Draymond Green would miss at least two weeks of action due to lingering calf and back injuries. Coach Steve Kerr said they’re playing it safe with Green’s injury issues at this stage of the season, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets.

“The main thing is to be safe and cautious,” Kerr said. “It’s a long season. That’s my sense. That we’re being cautious.”

With Green out, lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga will get expanded playing time. Kuminga irritated the staff with a disinterested performance in a G League game last week but the Warriors won’t hold that against him, according to Slater.

“He didn’t run the floor hard. It was disappointing,” Kerr said. “We talked to him about it. He understood and responded well. This is all part of the process for JK. There’s a lot to absorb and learn.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Stephen Curry left the Warriors’ road trip early but it shouldn’t be an area of concern, according to Slater (Twitter link). Curry has a hand injury that the club believes is minor. He could play against Detroit on Tuesday.
  • The Lakers have dropped below the .500 mark by losing their last three games, including a 37-point thumping by Denver. LeBron James went on social media and pledged to fans the team will get untracked soon. “Lakers Nation I apologize and promise we’ll be better,” James proclaimed on his Twitter feed.
  • The decision to start Dwight Howard against the Nuggets shows the Lakers can only go so far with small ball lineups, Kyle Goon of the Orange Country Register writes. Coach Frank Vogel doesn’t want James banging against top-level centers such as Nikola Jokic. Howard will still have a role off the bench when Anthony Davis returns, Goon adds.
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