Adams pinpoints where Dubs need to improve most defensively – NBCSports.com
SAN FRANCISCO – For weeks, Warriors Damion Lee has been sequestered to the team’s training room, prompting a running joke among his injured teammates.
“We’re in detention while everybody’s having recess,” Lee explained on Tuesday afternoon.
A two-way guard, Lee has frequently outplayed his two-way contract status, becoming a dependable role player. A fractured bone in his right hand impeded that progress, forcing him to miss a month of action. Now, after being upgraded to probable for Wednesday’s matchup against the Knicks, he’s eager to get back into the fold.
“I’m good. I’m going out there and not thinking about it. It took its course and it’s healed, and everything’s fine,” Lee said. “When the time comes, I will be out there on the court, and whenever my number’s called, just go out there and get the butterflies out early, and just have fun.”
Lee — who suffered a nondisplaced fracture in his right hand last month– joined the team on its most recent five-game road trip. After missing Monday’s loss to Memphis, he participated fully in practice Tuesday morning, including a 3-on-3 scrimmage prior to Tuesday’s session. While listed as probable for Wednesday’s game against the Knicks, Lee expects to be brought back slowly.
“I highly doubt I’m going to be out there playing 30, 35 minutes. Just going out there,” he said. “Just coming off the bench, just trying to bring that spark, muck up the game, and just have fun with everything.”
Following an injury-plagued college career at Drexel and Louisville, Lee went undrafted in 2016, bouncing around the league, including G-League stops with the Maine Red Claws and Golden State’s affiliate in Santa Cruz, earning a two-way contract last season. During his tenure in Golden State, he’s frequently outplayed his contract. This season — in a two-way role — he became a rotation player with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry out for extended time. In an early-season win over the New Orleans Pelicans, he scored a career-high 23 points, adding 11 rebounds.
His availability comes with a caveat. As a two-way player, he can only be with the Warriors 45 days before he’s forced back down to the G-League for the season unless Golden State signs him to a fully guaranteed deal. As of Tuesday, Lee has 31 days left with the Warriors.
Lee’s addition to the roster comes as the roster is getting healthier. In the last week, expected contributors Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans and D’Angelo Russell have returned from various injuries. With a return on the horizon, Lee believes he’ll reach his previous production levels with time.
“I know tomorrow I’m not going to go out there and be perfect. I know I’m not going to make every shot, I’m not going to miss every shot,” Lee said. “But it’s just going out there and just doing things at game speed. Obviously, being in the game, but preparing at game speed, and just going out there, and once it all starts to click, then it’ll obviously go up. Going out there tomorrow, the main thing is just playing hard and having fun.”
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