NBA

How an Injured Stephen Curry is Still Helping the Golden State Warriors

Ordinarily, just about everything that the Golden State Warriors do runs through Stephen Curry. This season, however, has been a bit different. After suffering a broken hand in October, the sharpshooter has been relegated to a supporting role; rather than knocking down three-pointers, he’s only able to cheer on his teammates from the bench.

After spending a few weeks away from the team, the injured guard has found a new way to help his team. He might not be in uniform, but Steph Curry is still a key part of everything the Warriors do.

The Golden State Warriors ugly 2019 campaign

In recent years, the Golden State Warriors emerged as a modern NBA dynasty. This season, however, has shown just how fragile even the most well-constructed team can be.

After the Warriors fell to the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals, things started to change. Kevin Durant headed to New York and joined the Brooklyn Nets; Andre Iguodala moved to Memphis in a trade, and Shaun Livingston retired. Those personnel changes, combined with Klay Thompson’s torn ACL, left the Warriors a shell of their former selves.

Things, however, continued to get worse. While the Warriors still had plenty of talent on the roster, no one could stay healthy. Stephen Curry broke his hand at the end of October; Draymond Green has been in and out of the lineup with a heel problem. Even newer names, like rookie Eric Paschall, has been dealing with hip and knee issues.

Unsurprisingly, the Warriors have fallen to the bottom of the league standings; they’re being bumped from national broadcasts and are sitting in the cellar rather than challenging for another title.

How Stephen Curry’s mere presence can help the Warriors

While it’s common to see injured players sitting at the end of the bench, Stephen Curry hasn’t been with the Warriors for the past few weeks. The guard spent some time in the Los Angeles area as part of his rehabilitation process; the guard has pins removed and transitioned out of wearing a brace on his hand and wrist.

While that doesn’t mean a return is on the cards, Curry is back with the team and has started working on his agility. His mere presence is providing the team with an emotional boost.

“He’s been doing basketball movements,” head coach Steve Kerr explained after a recent practice. “He hasn’t been shooting the ball, but he’s been out on the floor doing a lot of lateral movement, jumping, that kind of stuff. And it’s nice to have him in the gym; it just feels better when he’s around.”

We’d like to have him with the team as much as possible,” Kerr continued. “I haven’t talked to him about our next trip, but I’m sure he’ll be around the team more and more now that he’s allowed to be up here with our staff. He’s been here now the last few days, every day working with our training staff. He’s present again, so I imagine that will stay the same.”

Curry’s presence can be the difference between a lost season and a losing season

You don’t have to be an expert on probabilities to know that the Golden State Warriors aren’t going anywhere this season. Stephen Curry’s presence, however, can still keep things moving in the right direction.

As of now, the organization’s biggest priority is keeping things moving in the right direction. The established stars like Curry and Thompson need to get healthy; ideally, young players like Eric Paschall will develop, so that they’re ready for more meaningful games next season. Add in a potential first overall pick, and the Warriors should be back on top in no time.

At the same time, however, no one wants to lose night after night; that’s especially true for competitive professional athletes. If Stephen Curry can keep everyone feeling good and focused on the bigger picture rather than getting bogged down in pessimism, lost games don’t have to turn into a lost season.