Injured Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes has a “slight chance” of returning against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, but it’s more likely Barnes returns next Monday against the Sacramento Kings, according to Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears.
Barnes hasn’t played since Nov. 27 against the Phoenix Suns due to a sprained ankle. The Warriors haven’t missed him all that much, as they’ve gone 10-1 without him in the lineup.
However, it should be noted that Draymond Green has been playing bigger minutes due to the absence of the 23-year-old. The young forward often plays the role of a small ball 4, and the Warriors’ backups bigs haven’t been able to pick up the slack with him out of the lineup. That’s led to Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton using Green more, so getting Barnes back will help lighten Green’s workload.
It’d be great for Barnes to return for Christmas against the Cavaliers so both teams could be whole for the marquee matchup, but it’s better to play it safe than force him back when he’s not ready. We can expect a great game regardless.