Harrison Barnes: Out for Hornets Game


Harrison Barnes’ ankle injury will cause him to miss a showdown with the Charlotte Hornets

Former North Carolina Tar Heel Harrison Barnes has been the third leading scorer for the Golden State Warriors this season. That effort will have to stop temporarily as Barnes is out for the next three games with an ankle injury. Those three games include Wednesday’s matchup against the Charlotte Hornets.

Barnes was injured in the Phoenix Suns game, but there were no broken bones in the scans. It is likely that the unbeaten Warriors will not rush Barnes back too fast to action. Right now there is simply no need for it.

The Warriors can plug Barnes’ position with defensive ace Andre Iguodala when they use bigger lineups. The small ball lineups that the Warriors thrive in may see more minutes for Draymond Green or perhaps one of the other forwards that the Warriors have. Guard Brandon Rush replaced Barnes for the Sacramento Kings game.

The Hornets will be given some reprieve on not having to match up with Barnes. He likely would have been the responsibility of P.J. Hairston or Marvin Williams depending on the kind of lineup that the Warriors would have used. However the Al Jefferson for Harrison Barnes injury trade is still a loser for the Hornets.

The Warriors might be a team were the effects of losing Jefferson could be mitigated. The Hornets could experiment with going small themselves. That would mean inserting Jeremy Lin into the starting lineup and moving P.J. Hairston to the bench. Jefferson’s spot would be taken by either Cody Zeller or Spencer Hawes.

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A more extreme example would be moving Williams to center and moving Jeremy Lamb into the picture as the small forward. That would move the six eight Nicolas Batum to the big forward.

None of these things answer the big question for the Hornets. That is how do you stop Stephen Curry? The Hornets could match up Batum on splash brother Blake Thompson, but can Lin or Kemba Walker really match up with Curry? Or do you shut down the passing lanes around Curry, and force him to beat you by himself? Could he do that?

The Hornets play the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night. Can we sting the streak?