Last year, Kevin Durant went down with a leg injury and missed a lot of time. It ended up being great for the Golden State Warriors because Stephen Curry got his swagger back as the number one guy, Klay Thompson continued his two-way play, and Draymond Green orchestrated the team. Durant came back, but got injured again, resulting in the Warriors being without Durant for the first part of the playoffs. Luckily, he came back, and not playing for a while, Durant was fresh for the playoffs and the Finals, ultimately, winning the NBA Finals MVP.
Fast-forward to this year, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry have switched places. Curry sprained his ankle and figures to be out about two weeks, maybe a little longer. This is good news for the Warriors’ organization comparing to Kevin Durant’s injury. For starters, it’s only December. When Durant got injured, it was in February, a time when, as a contending team, you want to get into a groove and have everyone healthy. The Warriors should get Curry back around Christmastime, most likely, a few days beforehand.
The way Curry plays, it is efficient as any. He is a threat as soon as he passes half-court, and seems to always make the right decision. Luckily, for the Warriors, they have a great veteran in Shaun Livingston to replace Curry at point guard. Livingston will bring a better defensive presence with his huge height advantage, while using his high IQ to make the right decision on the offensive side of the ball. They also have Quinn Cook, a Duke alum point guard who will get a few starts here and there. Cook has been around the G League and had NBA time with the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks.
NBA media and fans, specifically Warriors fans, have grown accustomed to the Warriors’ ability to win games, especially the last three years. Steve Kerr’s system does have its positives, but having players who are selfless and future Hall of Famers, it makes anyone part of the Warriors’ organization coming to work so much more fun. Those people will also understand that the Warriors will win lots of games, and they will lose games that will make you just scratch your head.
This stretch of games without Curry will make fans scratch their heads wondering what would happen in the playoffs without Curry. At the same time, when the Warriors look really good, the media will then ask questions on if the Warriors even need Curry to win the championship. There will be a lot of talk about the Warriors in the next couple of weeks, and until further notice, the only thing to take away is it’s only going to be two weeks.
The way the team is designed, the next person will step up. Thompson and Durant will get a lot more shots without Curry, while Green will need to make sure the offense gets good looks, while the players are still locked in on the defensive side. The expected games to be without Curry are against the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
Though no time is good for an injury, this may be the best time for Curry to be out as the upcoming opponents are struggling and he can come back a few days before the great matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day. Efficiency and knowing when to put a team away will be two keys for the Golden State Warriors as they look toward the next two weeks without Curry.
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