Stephen Curry has always been the lifeblood of the Golden State Warriors’ offense, but it’s been even more so the case this season with the two-time MVP getting very little scoring assistance from teammates.
The 35-year-old is averaging over 30 points and is the only Warrior to score more than 20 in any given outing, having done so in all 11 games to date. Unfortunately for Golden State, they’ll now have no choice but to find more consistent scoring avenues outside of their franchise star.
Stephen Curry’s knee sprain is a major concern for a Golden State Warriors team that’s scoring has been over-reliant on the veteran point-guard.
Earlier on Tuesday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Curry would miss the Warriors second In-Season Tournament game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. However, the absence shouldn’t be brushed off as a minor concern.
Angst among the fanbase was raised when Charania also reported that “Curry is believed to have a sprain in his right knee” and that the nine-time All-Star is “undergoing further evaluations”.
While Charania also stated that Curry “is not expected to miss much time”, that’s hardly reassuring for a fanbase who knows the team may struggle for any period without their clear best player. Golden State was actually a steady 14-12 in 26 games that Curry missed last season, though that was primarily propelled by a hot-shooting Klay Thompson and another 20-point per game scorer in Jordan Poole.
Thompson has yet to rediscover anywhere near the form of the January-February period — two of the best months of his career scoring-wise. Poole, meanwhile, has been replaced by a more steady and reliable Chris Paul, but that doesn’t mean the Warriors couldn’t do with the young guard’s scoring ability right about now.
Make no mistake, this will be a huge test for a Golden State team already showing some rocky signs across three-straight losses. It could also be the making of them, and we could see the true value of Paul who’s a luxury replacement in the starting lineup. Curry’s absence is also likely to open up opportunity for impressive rookie Brandin Podziemski, with the 19th overall pick set to battle with veteran Cory Joseph for backup minutes behind Paul.
The Warriors have the next four games, and six of their next eight at Chase Center, with the loss of Curry putting the onus on Paul, Thompson, Wiggins and the team’s younger players to step up into greater responsibility.