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Woe is them

Injuries wreck Golden State's season

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Posted: Tuesday February 27, 2001 2:02 AM

  Center Erick Dampier has been healthy for only 19 of the Warriors' 56 games this season. Todd WarshawAllsport

By Desmond M. Wallace,

Having already seen his players miss more than a combined 200 games due to injury this season, Golden State head coach Dave Cowens must be beside himself on the bench -- sometimes literally.

No team in the NBA has been more decimated by injury than the Warriors. That the Warriors had won any games at all this year may be a miracle in and of itself.

When starting power forward Danny Fortson went down with a stress fracture in his right foot in the sixth game of the season, it should have been an omen.

Missing in Action
Teams with the most player-games lost to injury since 1994-95:
Year  Leader  Games
Win Pct. 
2000-01*:  Warriors  248  .289 
1999-00:  Mavericks  330  .488 
1998-99:  Celtics  198  .380 
1997-98:  Mavericks  363  .244 
1996-97:  Celtics  480  .183 
1995-96:  Nets  301  .366 
1994-95:  Warriors  325  .317 
* Through Feb. 22

Fortson had been averaging 16.7 points per game as well as an NBA-leading 16.3 rebounds. But these are the Woe-rriors, after all. This is a club which may as well hand out hospital room keys with each NBA paycheck.

Injuries have occurred so often at Golden State through the team's first 54 games that the Warriors' Opening Night starting lineup had only played together five times. In fact, through Feb. 22, Cowens had filled out 17 different starting lineups and used 21 different players. The absence of Warriors players had been so frequent that Cowens' charges had missed an NBA-high 248 combined games due to injury.

Already this season 15 players have been lost for one medical reason or another. Included in the carnage is center Erick Dampier, who underwent surgery on his inflamed left knee a month after Fortson went down. Chris Mullin (lower back pain), Chris Porter (sprained left ankle) and Marc Jackson (sprained right groin) also have missed time. Little did Cowens know that when he was named the Warriors' head coach last April that his duties also would include being the team's part-time nursemaid.

Warriors' Woes
The 2000-01 Golden State Warriors' carnage
Players Used:
Player-Games Missed:
Starting Lineups:
Gms w/Opening Night Starters:
Through Feb. 22

This is not the first time the injury bug has visited the Bay Area. It was just a year ago that Golden State used a franchise-record 23 different starting lineups. And as recently as the 1994-95 season, the Warriors led the league in games missed due to injury with 325.

During the past seven years, the Warriors have missed some 1,500 player-games from various maladies. It should be no wonder, then, that Golden State has not produced a winning season since '94 -- the season before this span.

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