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Warriors’ Gary Payton II looks set to play in Game 1 againt the Celtics

As they approach a showdown with the best defensive team in the league, the Warriors will definitely be thankful to see the return of one of their best defenders.

Paul Rudder
Warriors’ Gary Payton II looks set to play in Game 1 againt the Celtics
Ezra ShawGetty

Though there were initial doubts as to whether he would be back in time for the Finals, the feisty shooting guard is set to return just in time.

Follow the action between the Celtics and the Warriors

Warriors Gary Payton II to play in Game 1 of NBA Finals

There is no news like good news and that’s exactly what the Golden State Warriors just got, with reports indicating that one of their key players who has been absent through injury, should be ready for the NBA Finals. The Warriors will surely be taking confidence from the fact that they can now count on the defensive prowess of Gary Payton II. With all indications suggesting that he has made good progress, since fracturing his elbow in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals with the Memphis Grizzlies, it’s now understood that Payton is on course to play on Thursday night in Game 1

What exactly happened to Gary Payton II?

As mentioned before it was back in the Western Conference semifinals when Payton suffered the injury. As he went to the basket on a breakaway he was essentially battered out of the air by Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks. The Warriors shooting guard fell awkwardly, hitting his elbow in the process and could immediately be seen in visible pain. Brooks was promptly ejected and then suspended for a game as a result of his dangerous play. While it is true that the Warriors advanced all the way to the finals without Payton, beating the Grizzlies before going on to eliminate the Dallas Mavericks, it would be a mistake to think he’s not been missed and more over not a boost right here and now. The Celtics are going to be a true test for the Warriors defense and as one of their best defenders, Payton’s return will be a welcome sight.

Could Andre Iguodala give the Warriors even more of a boost?

Perhaps one could say the stars are aligning for the Warriors, with reports suggesting that they could also see veteran forward Andre Iguodala return during the NBA Finals as well. Iguodala has been absent from Golden State’s roster since the first round of the playoffs when they met the Denver Nuggets. With an ongoing disc injury in his neck the franchise had feared the worst, but the word coming out of the Warriors’ camp is that they are in fact hopeful that he will return.

Rest assured if the Warriors are to build on their already impressive legacy, it will require plays like the above mentioned pair. If there is one thing that’s certain, it’s that winning a fourth NBA championship with Steve Kerr at the reigns will be no walk in the park against a Celtics team that is as tough and talented as they come. This is definitely going to be a case of ‘all hands on deck,’ lucky for the Warriors that’s starting to look like it might just be the case.


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