Both the Golden State Warriors and Gary Payton II himself are devastated following the news of his injury. With best-case scenario being a return in 3-5 weeks, Payton will likely be out until at least the NBA Finals, putting the remainder of his season in serious jeopardy. On Thursday, Steve Kerr addressed the situation during his media session.
"Gary is out for the foreseeable future, for weeks. That's the only thing that matters to us," Kerr said when asked about Dillon Brooks being suspended. When asked about Gary Payton's current morale, Kerr said, "He's bummed. He's got a huge brace on his arm, and he's gonna be out for a long time. He's crushed... In the spotlight, playing in the playoffs, playing a huge role, playing well, that's all been taken away from him. We all feel terrible for Gary, he deserves better."
Not only does Payton miss out on the biggest opportunity of his career, but the Warriors lose their best POA defender against Ja Morant. While the team still believes they can win without him, their job got a lot more difficult with Dillon Brooks' reckless act.
With a couple more days off in between now and Game 3, the Warriors will adjust their defensive game plan against Morant, who torched them for 47 points in Game 2 after Payton went down. Should they do a better job containing him, while getting the offensive production they expect from their stars, the team will have an opportunity to regain a series lead.