Warriors' Steph Curry to miss rest of regular season
Unfortunately for the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry is now set to miss the rest of the regular season. How will the Warriors manage without their star?
Unfortunately for the Warriors, its now been confirmed that their talisman will miss the rest of the regular season with a foot injury. Can they cope?
Steph Curry to miss rest of regular season
According to reports on Friday, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry will not play again in the regular season after being diagnosed with a sprained ligament in his left foot. As per the Warriors' statement, Curry will continue his rehabilitation and before starting individual on-court activities next week. At that time his return to to full practice will be determined based on his progress.
How did Steph Curry get injured?
The scenario that led to Curry's injury has of course been heavily debated. It was back on March 16th, late in the second quarter when Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics collided with Curry as the Celtics guard dove on the floor for a loose ball. Curry would later have to leave the game and did not return. The Warriors would eventually go on to lose 110-88 with head coach Steve Kerr calling Smart's dive "dangerous." He also expressed his displeasure directly to Smart during the game. "He's a hell of a player, gamer, a competitor," Kerr told reporters. "I coached him in the World Cup a few summers ago. We talked after the game and we're good. But I thought it was a dangerous play."
How do the Warriors deal with Curry's absence?
While it is good news for the Warriors that Curry has only suffered a sprained ligament - there were fears that it was worse - the reality is the loss of Curry is a significant blow to their playoff ambitions. With only five regular-season games left, the Warriors are now in a bit of a bind as they try to find rhythm heading into the post season. Klay Thompson only played his first game in January and Draymond Green recently returned from two months on the sideline, meaning that the key components of the Warriors attack have not been on the court at the same time for more than 11 minutes in total.
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Needless to say that is not a large amount and not just where those specific three are concerned but for the team as a whole. The Warriors offense is embodied by Curry this is true, but he himself thrives on the play-making of Green and the movement of Thomas which in turn benefits the team as a whole. Granted the team will opt for the same game plan whether Curry is on the court or not, but one can imagine that it won't function the same way. To put it in perspective, with Curry on the court, the Warriors have scored 115.2 points per 100 possessions with a +10.2 point differential. When Curry has not been on the court, they've scored 107.8 per 100 with a -5.0 point differential. Kerr's coaching staff will have quite a headache on their hands when it comes to figuring out the exact rotation needed to cover Curry's absence.
Where are the Warriors now?
With a record of 48-29, Golden State is fourth in the Western Conference and currently enjoy a two-game cushion over the Utah Jazz. "Whether we're the No. 2 seed or No. 3 seed, we're going to win a championship," Green said recently and while there is the feeling that their main challenge is to find cohesion as quickly as possible when Curry returns, there is the feeling that they may well be in danger of a lower finish if they don't get things together now.
Back in 2016, Curry had a problematic stretch that started with a sprained ankle in Game 1 of the Golden State's first-round series against the Houston Rockets. Curry would go on to miss two games before returning and then spraining his right knee in Game 4. The That knee would sideline him for two weeks before he finally returned for the second round against the Blazers. That is all to say that if Curry can return by the time the playoffs get going, then it shouldn't be a problem, on the other hand the Warriors of 2016 were coming off the best regular season in NBA history and were defending champions, things are slightly different this time around.