CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Warriors coach Steve Kerr says that while Stephen Curry’s sprained ankle is not ideal, it may actually help his team in the long run.
Curry is expected to miss about two weeks with a sprained right ankle, including Wednesday night’s game against his hometown team, the Charlotte Hornets.
“In a weird way, it’s a good thing for our team,” Kerr said. “Obviously I want all of our players healthy. … I think big picture-wise over the next couple weeks it’s an opportunity for our team to get better because we have to. We have no choice.”
Curry, wearing a blue Warriors hoodie, took in the latter part of the Warriors’ morning shoot around from the tunnel next to the court, but declined interview requests through the team’s public relations department.
He was on crutches and had his right ankle in a protective boot.
The two-time league MVP Curry landed awkwardly on the E’Twaun Moore’s foot while going for a late steal in a 125-115 comeback win Monday night at New Orleans. He scored 31 points before the injury and is averaging 26.3 points, 6.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game this season.
Curry said after the game it was a “dumb play. I got caught on E’Twaun’s shoe as I went by him and couldn’t catch myself.”
Kerr confirmed Wednesday that Curry’s ankle is structurally intact.
“All things considered it was good news,” Kerr said of the MRI results. “Hopefully it will be a couple, or a few weeks, and he will be back. It’s not anything that’s too serious.”
Kerr said Patrick McCaw will miss the Hornets game with a nose contusion and Draymond Green is listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury.
Kerr would not say who’ll start for Curry, but it’s possible Shaun Livingston will take his place in the lineup. The team also recalled point guard Quinn Cook from the G-League to join the roster.
“A team like ours, I think we will respond well without Steph because you feel threatened when all of a sudden you are without one of your best guys and you realize you are vulnerable,” Kerr said. “When you are vulnerable you tend to have your guard up a little bit. I anticipate that will happen.”
While the Warriors have another league MVP they can turn to in Kevin Durant to carry the load, Kerr made it clear that Curry is the “guy who makes us go.”
“We have great players but Steph is the engineer, Everything revolves around him so we are going to have adapt and execute better,” Kerr said.
Kerr points to last year when Durant got hurt and the Warriors got better as a team, which he said helped the team in the playoffs.
“We have to take the same approach with Steph out,” Kerr said.
Durant knows it’s his time to step up.
“We will have to play a little different,” Durant said. “The way shoots off the dribble and shoots off the catch, it can’t be duplicated by anyone who has ever played the game. So we have to figure out how to plug in what we are missing from Steph. But if we do it as a group collectively everyone will gain confidence.”
Curry enjoys playing in Charlotte, where he grew up watching his father Dell play for the Hornets. He attended nearby Davidson College and when he returns home to play it has the feel of a home game for the Warriors.