The Golden State Warriors opened up their new arena with less fanfare than they had hoped. Everything since the NBA Finals has gone exactly as they didn’t want it to go. From losing Durant in the Finals and his eventual departure in free agency to Klay Thompson’s knee issues, the team’s historically good luck has turned sour at the wrong time, and it got worse in an early game against the Phoenix Suns when Steph Curry went down with another terrible injury.
Steph Curry’s injury
Steph Curry broke his hand after landing on the floor with Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes. The season had already failed to live up to much excitement going in, with the team losing two of its first three games by double digits and headed toward a blowout during this particular game, as well. Curry’s injury, however, may have already been a nail in the coffin for the team who made it to five-straight finals.
Curry left the game following his fall, but not much was known right away. Broken hands can be tricky, depending on the specific bone and the severity of the break, and in a Western Conference that is as stacked as it ever was, the Warriors were hoping for the best as they awaited the CT scan.
The prognosis on Steph Curry
A broken hand can mean anything from missing a few weeks to a few months. Russell Westbrook suffered a broken hand in 2014 that cost him 14 games and just about a month of action on the calendar.
In more severe cases, however, a broken hand can cost a player months of basketball, and as the Warriors learned last year in the Finals, rushing a player back could have dire consequences.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Curry’s initial prognosis is that he will miss about three months, eyeing a return around the NBA All-Star break. Curry, who suffered from a series of ankle injuries during the first years of his career, has remained relatively healthy since the Warriors shot into the top of the league. However, this hand injury is a setback for the immediate future of both himself and the team.
The Golden State Warriors’ chances
With Curry out, the Warriors will have to look at Draymond Green and recently acquired All-Star D’Angelo Russell to keep them afloat until at least February. The injury bug isn’t the only thing working against the Warriors, however. Aside from being hobbled in their starting unit, the team is also lacking the same bench depth they have had in prior seasons.
In the best-case scenario, the Warriors can use their two All-Stars to keep the team in the mix until Curry can return. This could be difficult, however, as Green is not a typical All-Star and Russell is still getting used to his new team. Add this to the fact that the Warriors struggled to show any life while Curry was on the floor, and it could be a long season for the team in 2019-20.
Don’t tell this to the Warriors, however. With a depleted roster and Curry’s injury fresh on their minds, the Warriors took to their new arena to face a Portland Trail Blazers team that is still trying to find their feet.
The Warriors found an unlikely hero in Eric Paschall, who erupted for 34 points in the Warriors’ win over the Blazers. It was the highest-scoring rookie game for the team since Curry, and Paschal showed there may be light.
Single-game performances do not tell the whole picture, though. While the team may rally and stay inside the mix, competing in the west was going to be a hard task with a fully-healthy Curry. Losing him this long, combined with everything else that has happened will likely be too much for the team to overcome.
One thing to note, however, is that the worse the Warriors do this season, they better their odds are at having a high lottery pick going into next year with a healthier Curry and Thompson by his side.