Damion Lee came through and then some for the Golden State Warriors on Monday night. With more roster injuries, Lee’s opportunity has arrived, and he has to take advantage.
The Golden State Warriors picked up a much-needed first victory on the season, jumping out to an aggressive and inspired start against the New Orleans Pelicans. Granted, the Pelicans were without their two best bigs and a few defensive pieces, but that doesn’t matter this season. After a troubling 0-2 start, the Warriors finally notched one in the win column.
But given their roster scenario this season, there are chances that victories come at the expense of injuries as well. Such was the case on Monday night, as Golden State saw Jacob Evans exit early due to an adductor strain.
With a roster already hobbled with injuries, adding Evans to that list is a blow. Especially considering he was one of the lone bright spots in the season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. Steve Kerr and the coaching staff were looking forward to Jacob Evans taking a significant step early on this season.
But Evans’ injury opens the doors for the next man up, and on Monday night (and for the foreseeable future) that man is Damion Lee. Safe to say, Lee delivered against the Pelicans, and he’ll be asked to deliver for the time being.
His opportunity has finally arrived, perhaps earlier than expected, and now it’s up to him to make the most of it.
In 28 minutes against New Orleans, Lee delivered 23 points, 11 rebounds, and hit four threes for Golden State. Playing on a two-way contract after he was unable to find a larger contract elsewhere in the offseason, Damion Lee is now in line for some vital minutes at the wing position, arguably the league’s most important spot.
The Warriors are thin at multiple spots on the roster, but the wing position is especially barren. Kerr and company are looking for boosts from anyone at that position, and now with the injury to Jacob Evans, Damion Lee will be called upon as a spark on the offense. If he can do again what he did Monday night, Lee very may well carve out a permanent role on this roster.
There will be more moments like this all season when injuries and unforeseen circumstances present obstacles but also opportunities for others. Now, that opportunity has fallen onto Damion Lee. If his performance was any indication of what lies ahead, its that he’s more than up to the task.