Warriors’ Gary Payton II joins Draymond Green on sidelines for Nuggets clash

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Draymond Green isn’t the only All-NBA caliber defender the Golden State Warriors will be missing for Wednesday’s highly anticipated clash with Nikola Jokic and the defending-champion Denver Nuggets. Gary Payton II has officially been ruled out against Denver on the Warriors’ final injury report, sidelined due to illness.

Payton was initially listed as questionable to play versus the Nuggets. He didn’t participate in Golden State’s morning shootaround, according to the Anthony Slater of The Athletic, casting additional doubt on his status.

Payton’s absence is a major loss for the Warriors, especially with Green out due to personal reasons. He’s been a driving force behind the Dubs’ stellar bench-heavy lineups in the early going of 2023-24, finally healthy after dealing with a nagging injury to his midsection upon re-joining Golden State at the trade deadline last season.

Not only is Payton one of the most disruptive, versatile on-ball defenders in basketball, but his penchant for deflections away from the ball—juicing the Warriors’ transition attack—looms especially large against an elite playmaker like Jokic. He’s also been in Steve Kerr’s closing lineup on multiple occasions, sicced on opposing ball handlers as the game hung in the balance.

Expect Moses Moody to get additional burn off the bench with Gary Payton II unable to play, while Jonathan Kuminga, Dario Saric and rookie big man Trayce Jackson-Davis are poised to pick up Green’s slack. Veteran point guard Cory Joseph and rookie guard Brandin Podziemski could see court time with Golden State shorthanded against Denver, too.

The impact of Payton’s status is somewhat blunted by Nuggets star Jamal Murray missing the game, dealing with a hamstring strain poised to keep him out for the remainder of November. But there’s no better or more additive offensive player in basketball than Jokic; the Warriors need all hands on deck to just have a chance at keeping him in check.

Golden State and Denver tipoff  from Pepsi Center at 7:00 p.m. (PT).

The post Warriors’ Gary Payton II joins Draymond Green on sidelines for Nuggets clash appeared first on ClutchPoints.

This content was originally published here.

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