Top Stories

Golden State Warriors face rough road to playoffs with Stephen Curry sidelined by left knee injury

From NBA media reports

The Warriors and the NBA are still coping with the news involving Steph Curry, who’s scheduled to miss at least three weeks after suffering a knee sprain; that’s what the latest diagnosis from the Warriors tell us.

But of course the injury scare goes a bit deeper. If the Warriors or their fans believe in omens, this doesn’t bode well for the postseason. Curry has had ankle and now knee issues and he hasn’t been the only Warriors player dealing with pain this season.

It just shows how vulnerable any title favorite is, no matter how deep or talented they are. All it takes is a dose of a bad luck and anything and everything can go wrong. See: Cleveland three years ago with Kyrie Irving. Or if you want to roll the clock back even further, see the Lakers missing Byron Scott and Magic Johnson in the 1989 Finals.

What does this all mean for the Warriors? It’s probably best the franchise keep its fingers crossed, because not only have the injuries (none serious, but still) piled up this season, but there’s a very real threat in Houston. Here’s Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated with the latest update on Curry and how it impacts the Warriors:

Durant had missed just one game prior to his knee injury last season; Curry has already missed 17 games due to multiple ankle injuries. Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all enjoyed excellent health last year; In recent weeks, Thompson, Durant and Green have all battled injury issues. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for the Warriors to enter the playoffs with the genuine positive momentum they mustered last April.

Crucially, the Warriors were accustomed to playing without Durant last season because he was still the new guy and because they had won a title without him. One could argue that it was harder for the Warriors to ask Curry to scale back his offense to accommodate Durant’s arrival than it was to ask him to scale up when Durant was sidelined. Indeed, Curry averaged 26.9 PPG, 7.8 APG and 4.8 RPG and led the Warriors to a 15-4 record during Durant’s absence.

Even if the Warriors had Durant, Thompson and Green fully healthy right now, it would be unreasonable to expect them to duplicate those results in Curry’s absence. The Warriors’ offense is built around Curry and they’re used to having him on the court. Prior to this season, Curry had missed just 16 games over the past five seasons combined. When he enjoyed good health in the 2015 and 2017 playoffs, they won titles. When he appeared limited by a knee injury during the 2016 playoffs, they fell to the Cavaliers in stunning fashion.

* * *