The Golden State Warriors are 1-2 since losing Stephen Curry to another ankle injury, and the two losses came from their last two games. The injury-ridden Warriors lost to the scorching hot Portland Trailblazers on the tail end of a back-to-back. Damian Lillard had 28 points and CJ McCollum had 30 as the Blazers beat the Warriors for their 9th straight victory. Today, the Warriors lost a close contest with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 31 points.
Aside from Curry, many other important Warriors are injured. Young guns Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell are out, and so are Andre Iguodala and David West, the Warriors’ most important rotation players.
In the games without Curry and the others, Kevin Durant shouldered the huge task of getting the offense going. He poured in 37, 40, and 39 points in the past three games–he was clutch in the win against the San Antonio Spurs, but his buckets weren’t enough to put the Warriors past Portland and Minnesota. This was the Warriors’ first winless road trip all season.
Durant had an efficient 40 points against Portland, going 12/21 from the field. But his 39 against Minnesota felt a lot more forced, and he shot an uncharacteristic 11/32 from the field. His 32 shots are the most he’s taken in a game since he was in Oklahoma City. It’s not in his or the Warriors’ best interest to have him take that many shots, but he needed to be this aggressive because his team was so undermanned because of injuries.
There are huge challenges to reforming the Warriors’ offense without Curry, the guy that the entire system is predicated on. After the Wolves loss, Durant said, “We just gotta keep playing, keep working, keep figuring things out, and we’ll be fine.” He said it’s definitely “weird” without Curry on the floor, but he’s excited to play with him, West, and Iguodala again soon, because without them, the Warriors are “just playing on the fly each possession.”
Durant is right; it won’t be like this forever (knock on wood), as the injured players start returning to the court. When Stephen Curry comes back, the load will be gracefully lifted off of Durant’s shoulders. Steve Kerr isn’t too worried about the losses, either. He said, “I’m thrilled with the effort. We just couldn’t quite get it done.”
The Warriors have some time to rest and recuperate from the road trip before their next game on Wednesday, back in the Bay against the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re certainly going to be hoping for some better injury news this week.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Golden State Warriors article is published, fill out our email notification form.