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News » Mounting injuries force lineup shuffle

Mounting injuries force lineup shuffle

Mounting injuries force lineup shuffleForward Anthony Randolph will miss the Warriors' preseason game against New Orleans tonight with injuries that could end up costing him regular-season games, and C.J. Watson will start ahead of Stephen Curry and Anthony Morrow, coach Don Nelson said Wednesday.

Nelson would have liked to treat the preseason finale as a dress rehearsal for the Warriors' regular-season opener Wednesday against Houston, but injuries have mounted with Randolph and Stephen Jackson joining a collection that already included Kelenna Azubuike ankle, Brandan Wright shoulder, Acie Law ankle and Devean George knee.

"We're getting used to it," Nelson said. "You think of the old days, when everybody played all of the games, but it's just not that way anymore."

Randolph tried to play through a bruised lower back after taking a hard fall following a rebound attempt Tuesday night against the Lakers. It was the second time this preseason that Randolph hurt his back, in which he's having spasms, and Nelson said that his second-year player has also been mentioning a sore knee. Nelson hinted that Randolph's injuries could cost him regular-season time.

"We've got to get him healthy and he hasn't been healthy," Nelson said. "He's just not right."

After averaging 17 points and 11 rebounds over a three-game preseason stretch, Randolph has averaged seven points and 3.3 rebounds since originally hurting his back against the Clippers on Oct. 12.

Though the injury to Azubuike, who has started three of his four preseason games, is the major reason Watson is starting tonight, there are other factors. Because of his own knee injury, Watson has played only 58 preseason minutes and needs game-paced conditioning, and he's proven to be a better defender against bigger guards than Morrow and Curry, who some believed would be the fifth starter.

"I'm really not worried about" starting, said Watson, who estimated his knee is 75-80 percent healthy. "I'm not going to get into the competition thing with my teammates."

Still, that didn't stop questions about Curry, who is shooting 34.8 percent from the floor and 19 percent from three-point range, possibly falling from favor with Nelson.

"Curry is still a young player, and we're going to take our time with him," said Nelson, before sarcastically offering, "I don't play young guys."

Jackson left Tuesday's game in the fourth quarter with a mildly strained right hamstring. Nelson said he expects Jackson to play tonight, but the Warriors listed him as doubtful after an evening exam with Dr. Frank Chen.

If Jackson can't go, Morrow would get the start at small forward. He's averaging 20.3 points and is shooting 53.5 percent three-point shooting but has struggled defensively.

Also on Wednesday, the Warriors waived post Shaun Pruitt, the last player in camp without a guaranteed contract.

Tonight's game Hornets vs. Oracle Arena7:30 p.m.None

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 22, 2009


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