Report: Willie Cauley-Stein and Alec Burks probable for Suns game

The Golden State Warriors have struggled with the injury bug to begin the season, but two players who missed the preseason will likely make their season debut Wednesday.

Willie Cauley-Stein and Alec Burks have been listed as probable for the Warriors’ home game against the Phoenix Suns, per The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.  Cauley-Stein suffered a left foot sprain before the preseason, and Burks is coming off a sprained ankle.

Both players signed with the Warriors in free agency. If Cauley-Stein and Burks play, their return couldn’t be more timely.

The Warriors could use more options on offense. Their offense has always been one that moves and shares the ball — it focuses on finding the open man. But with Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell shouldering much of the scoring load, the offense has been flat.

Through their first three games, the Warriors rank 25th in field goal percentage (40.7%). Neither Curry or Russell have shot at least 44% from the field.

Cauley-Stein and Burks could help throw some wrinkles in the offense for Golden State. A big man out of Kentucky, Cauley-Stein is one of the most talented roll men in the league out of the pick-and-roll.

He should be a good option for Russell, a guard who excels in the pick-and-roll. During his career, Cauley-Stein has scored 10.1 points per game and grabbed 6.4 rebounds. Per Slater, Kevon Looney remains out with a hamstring injury. Cauley-Stein could help on the defensive end, particularly on the interior where the Warriors lack size.

Burks could be a solid scorer off the bench Wednesday if he doesn’t start. In 34 games with the Cleveland Cavaliers last season Burks averaged 11.6 points, his highest average since the 2015-16 season, when he was with the Utah Jazz.

Burks has career averages of 9.5 points per game and 3.0 rebounds. He has shot 42.5% from the field and 35.5% from three.

 

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