The Warriors won their second NBA championship in three years, riding another wave of sustained health. During the first title run the team lost just 71 games, the fourth lowest total in the league. The number jumped by 101 games during Drew Yoder’s first year at the helm despite the team’s 73 wins. However, Yoder and his medical team rebounded nicely, cutting that total in half and once again finishing with the fourth lowest total in the NBA.
It wasn’t always easy as wrist and shoulder injuries cost Zaza Pachulia a dozen games and a broken thumb sidelined David West for 14 games. However, the most impactful injury was to superstar Kevin Durant who sustained a left knee injury that was initially diagnosed as a broken tibia. Fortunately, additional testing revealed the injury was “merely” a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibia bone contusion. With the help of the Golden State medical team, Durant returned 19 games later and would later earn Finals MVP.
The Warriors begin their title defense with a healthy and deep roster. The depth will be key as the medical team will work with the coaching staff to ensure the effects of three deep playoff runs doesn’t wear down their multiple All-Stars. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry all rank in the top five for total minutes played over the last three seasons and will be closely monitored throughout the year. If Yoder and company can repeat last season’s success, the Warriors will once again find themselves playing in June.