Injured Warriors role players Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., and Andre Iguodala were all able to fully partake in a relatively light team practice on Tuesday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The team has a full contact practice scheduled for Wednesday. According to Slater, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr indicated he should have a better sense of the injured players’ availability for the start of the series following that session.
There’s more out of Golden State:
- Payton is “trending” toward being a game-time decision for Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals, slated to tip off on Thursday, per Shams Charania of Stadium (Twitter video link). “We still got some boxes to fill,” Payton said of his availability, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN (via Twitter). Payton has been sidelined since suffering a left elbow fracture in Game 2 of the Warriors’ conference semifinals series against the Grizzlies.
- Payton won the NBA’s 2021/22 Bob Lanier Community Assist Award this season, the Warriors announced in a press statement. The honor is meant to reward players for outstanding community outreach. The league and award sponsor Kaiser Permanente will donate $75K to Payton’s charity, the GPII Foundation, which helps young people struggling with language-based learning disabilities.
- Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic has helped Golden State starting center Kevon Looney gobble up rebounds like never before, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Thompson notes that Looney is grabbing 21.6% of possible rebounds when on the court during the 2022 playoffs. Should the trend continue, that would be a top-50 all-time postseason rebounding rate. “Rebounding is something that I’ve always enjoyed,” Looney said. “I made a lot of strides this year. I feel like I’ve always been pretty good at it. I always have my moments. But this year I’ve been way more consistent, and really more locked in on it, and that’s been able to make a difference.”