2018 Playoffs | Western Conference Semifinals: Warriors (2) vs. Pelicans (6)
Stephen Curry out for Game 1, Kerr expects him back Game 2
From NBA Twitter and media reports
Stephen Curry is not back… yet.
The Warriors will play on without the two-time Kia MVP as they begin their second-round matchup with the Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, however, added, “I fully expect him to play Tuesday night” for Game 2.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) April 29, 2018
“I fully expect him to play Tuesday night,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Stephen Curry.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) April 29, 2018
Steph Curry pushed to return in Game 1, told Steve Kerr he felt great. Kerr obviously isn't letting him play, but said he liked that Curry had the confidence he's ready: "It's a better answer than 'My knee still hurts'"
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 29, 2018
”Just made the decision based on giving him the extra few days and the fact he only scrimmaged yesterday,” Kerr said. ”You’ve been out five weeks and we’re playing in the playoffs, I don’t think one scrimmage is enough, even though he feels great, he wants to play and pleaded his case. But we’re going to sit him tonight and very likely he’ll play Game 2.”
As usual, Curry insisted he ”feels great and he’s ready to go,” said Kerr, who is encouraged Curry feels so good.
Curry returned to full practice with contact Thursday and only scrimmaged 5 on 5 for the first time Friday, and Kerr prefers that Curry get additional on-court time at full speed Sunday before inserting him back into the rotation – which could be off the bench initially or on a minutes restriction, or both.
Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and athletic trainer Chelsea Lane met with Curry and made a decision to keep him out.
”We have to protect him from himself and his own competitive desire,” Kerr said.
Curry has not played since March 23 due to sprained left knee, but the Warriors still cruised to a 4-1 first-round series win over the Spurs. He would, however, boost their abnormally poor outside shooting. Entering Saturday night, the Warriors ranked 13th out of the 16 playoff teams in 3-point makes per contest and 3-point percentage. Curry ranked first in makes (4.2 per game) and 13th in accuracy during the regular season.
”We practiced the whole week with the understanding that Steph was probably going to play,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ”And he will play. It’s not like he’s going to miss the entire series. We practiced both ways. What we’ll do is Plan B, I guess, Plan A, whatever you want to call it.”
The Warriors are aiming for their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals and third championship over the last four years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.