Bucks guard Nate Wolters fractured his left (non-shooting) hand in the first quarter of Thursday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors. He left the game in the second quarter and did not return.
While no official statement has been made, it is quite likely that the rookie’s season is over. Wolters averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 assists per game. He started 31 of the 58 games he played in.
Prior to Feb. 8, Wolters shot 39.8% from the field while compiling a 10.3% on three-point shots. After that point, he shot 49.7% from the field and 45.5% from long range.
Coach Larry Drew had nothing but fine things to say in his post-game interview for Fox Sports Wisconsin:
“He had been playing really well for us. The kid has a lot of heart and really competes at a high level. I’ve been playing him at the 2 a lot. He’s been going against bigger, stronger guys, but he’s been competing his tail off. It is a big blow. I just want him to get well and hopefully, he’ll have a full recovery.”
Through much of the first quarter, Wolters spent the dead ball time looking at and stretching his left hand. He exited the game after playing the first couple of minutes of the second quarter. When asked how it occurred, Drew said that Wolters told him that “he was fighting through a screen and just kind of a weird thing happened.”
Presumably the injury came on this play when his left hand got caught on a screen set by David Lee:
One question facing the Bucks over the final 13 games is: Who will start in place of Wolters? When making a decision on the fly, Larry Drew chose to start Giannis Antetokounmpo at the tip of the second half with Brandon Knight sliding over to the point guard spot. Ramon Sessions got a bit more playing time than usual in the second half and O.J. Mayo did not get in the game.
The Bucks compiled some ridiculous splits when Wolters played compared to when he did not. In the 1309 minutes that Wolters played, the Bucks were a net -28 in points scored. In the 2042 minutes that he did not play, the Bucks compiled a net points scored of -530.