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Steve Kerr Admits Gary Payton II Absence Is A Big Deal In Warriors-Mavericks Series: "He Spent A Lot Of Time Guarding Luka Doncic During The Regular Season."

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Gary Payton II

Gary Payton II is a really good defensive player, often picking up tough assignments on the perimeter and trying to make their life difficult with his defense. There's no doubt that he was a key part of the Warriors' rotation prior to him getting injured against the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round.

Steve Kerr has recently admitted that Gary Payton's absence is a big deal in the Warriors-Mavericks series, pointing out that Payton spent a lot of time guarding Luka Doncic during the regular season.

Gary’s absence is a big deal in this series. He's spent a lot of time guarding Doncic during the regular season. So that's one fewer option that we have.

There's no doubt that losing one of their best defenders is a blow for the Golden State Warriors. Andrew Wiggins did a fairly good job on Luka Doncic though, and he received praise from both Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry for his defense in Game 1.

"Wiggs is understanding the nuances of what winning basketball is."

"It started with Andrew. He was moving those puppies tonight."

It remains to be seen if Gary Payton II's absence will affect the Golden State Warriors any further. Luka Doncic will likely be able to go off at some point this series, no matter who's guarding him, so perhaps it won't matter who will end up guarding him in the end.

Perhaps we'll see the Golden State Warriors get back to the Finals this season. They definitely have the talent to do so, even without Gary Payton II. As of right now, they're definitely favored over the Dallas Mavericks in these Western Conference Finals, and we'll see if they are able to win the series and get back to the NBA Finals for the first time since the 2018-19 season.