The Golden State Warriors have gotten out of the gate on a sluggish start, having dropped three out of their first four contests. Things have headed further south after star point guard Stephen Curry suffered a broken hand in Wednesday’s loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors could be sent into a tailspin with Curry out of the mix as an expected lengthy timetable has been hinted at.
Warriors’ rough start to 2019-20 season
Following a noteworthy offseason that saw much turnover to the roster headlined by the departure of Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, it has led to a tough time in the early goings of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Warriors have had massive shortcomings defensively with their lack of consistent play in the frontcourt. The absence of Klay Thompson has also played a significant factor in them falling into an early skid that has created the belief that Golden State could miss the playoffs entirely.
That was only fueled more after Curry suffered a broken wrist in Wednesday’s game after Suns’ big man Aron Baynes fell on his arm. Things look to be heading south with an expected timetable now laid out.
Stephen Curry’s Lengthy Recovery
The Warriors took a significant blow after their All-Star guard went down that has put the franchise without their leading scorer.
Golden State has yet to go into further detail about the timetable for a return, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN has stated that the team expects Curry to be sidelined for the “next couple of months.”
“I don’t think there’s anybody in Golden State who expects Stephen Curry back at least within the next couple of months,” Woj said. “Bob Myers will be out on the road scouting because they’re going to have a very high draft pick in this coming draft.
Curry was the team’s leading offensive factor, averaging 23.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds despite shooting 40.9% shooting from the floor and 24.3% from beyond the arc. He had notched more than 20 points in each of the first three games prior to Wednesday’s contest and was coming off his first double-double of the season.
His loss puts the Warriors in a tough spot, which could indeed see them struggle to make any headway in the stacked Western Conference over the next couple of months.
D’Angelo Russell’s opportunity
The Warriors are in yet another hole due to injuries, with another All-Star suffering a significant injury. However, the team still has two stars to lead the way in the Splash Brothers’ absence.
Offseason addition D’Angelo Russell has struggled to find his way as an efficient scorer shooting 39.3% from the floor and 33.3% shooting from 3-point range while averaging 16.3 points and 6.0 assists per contest. The injury to Curry could be an opportunity for him to get back to playing more on the ball and leading the charge in a similar manner to what he did with the Brooklyn Nets.
Meanwhile, Draymond Green will have to take up a larger offensive role while being the centerpiece defensively for the Warriors to a greater extent. Golden State has a daunting task ahead of them, given their shorthanded roster, but it’s a chance for them to see what Russell can do as the leading offensive factor in the backcourt.
The Warriors have continued to voice confidence in him; now, it’s turned into a circumstance where he can step up to prove that he can be a long-term piece in the puzzle. Russell now has the control of the offense that he may never have again once Curry and Thompson return, which makes this an even more intriguing situation in the Bay Area.