Tied at 2-2 and on a knife edge heading to Game 5, the Golden State Warriors’ first-round series with the Sacramento Kings has been nothing short of an exhilarating wave of emotions for fans of both teams.
Unfortunately, the series continues to be impacted by other factors that don’t deserve to define such a hard-fought matchup to date. In fact, most would suggest that of the eight first-round series, the Warriors-Kings battle is easily the most entertaining.
De’Aaron Fox’s injury update is a deflating development to what’s been a thrilling Golden State Warriors-Sacramento Kings series thus far.
Earlier on Monday it was revealed Kings star point-guard De’Aaron Fox had suffered a fracture at the top of his left index finger. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Fox “sustained the injury midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 3 and played through it.”
The 25-year-old would show no ill-effects as he masterfully made his way to 38 points, nine rebounds and five assists, though the Warriors overcame Fox’s brilliance to tie the series with a 126-125 victory.
As is so often the case with the NBA media, particularly come playoff time over a seven-game series, there’s an obsession on finding an asterisk behind a team’s victory. It began after Draymond Green was controversially suspended following Game 2 in Sacramento where the Kings had taken a 2-0 lead.
FS1’s Ric Bucher stated that the NBA’s decision “compromises not only this series, this compromises the entire western conference run”. That’s unfair to the Kings who had outplayed the Warriors to that point.
However harsh the suspension may have seemed, Green at least had some responsibility in the outcome. Fox’s injury is just plain bad luck, and is unfortunately part and parcel of the NBA Playoffs. That hasn’t stopped it being a discussion topic before the Warriors even win the series. In the wake of the injury news, Bucher’s colleague Nick Wright has already made it a point to outline every single Golden State series where they may have been favored by injury.
External factors, whether it be injury or suspension, don’t deserve to define what’s been a high-quality series. For the good of the series and basketball in general, let’s hope Fox can take to the floor in Game 5 and beyond.