Stephen Curry has anchored the Golden State Warriors‘ resurgence toward possible NBA title contention. The Warriors hit a lull during Draymond Green’s extended absence, but his return keeps the franchise in a promising position
However, Golden State experienced a bit of a scare on Wednesday night after Curry suffered a left foot injury against the Boston Celtics.
Stephen Curry suffers foot injury against the Celtics
The Warriors have pushed through the 2021-22 campaign as one of the top teams in the league.
Golden State has fallen toward the mean in the last couple of months due to Green’s absence but remains viewed as an NBA title contender due to their core group. The franchise was dealt a harsh blow after Stephen Curry suffered a left foot injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Celtics.
The injury occurred in the second quarter after Marcus Smart dove for the loose ball colliding with Curry’s left knee, leading to his foot and ankle being bent at an awkward angle. The star guard got up in noticeable pain and limped up the court before exiting the contest on the next dead ball.
After the game, head coach Steve Kerr voiced his displeasure with Smart’s choice to dive around the two-time league MVP’s leg.
I thought it was a dangerous play,” Kerr said via ESPN. “I thought Marcus dove into Steph, and that’s what I was upset about. A lot of respect for Marcus. He’s a hell of a player, a gamer, a competitor. I coached him in the World Cup a few summers ago. We talked after the game and we’re good. But I thought it was a dangerous play.”
Beyond the Warriors falling to a tough loss, Curry’s injury puts the team in a rough position ahead of the playoffs.
Stephen Curry’s brutal injury nearly made the Warriors’ worst nightmare come true
Less than a day after Stephen Curry’s injury, the Warriors hold a clear path of what lies ahead.
According to Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the strained ligament in his left foot will force him to miss the rest of the regular season but be ready to play in time for the start of the first round of the playoffs.
Although the outlook isn’t entirely crushing, the Warriors will operate cautiously given Curry’s long history with leg issues, especially ankle and foot problems. Golden State won’t bring him back earlier than needed as his presence and play are crucial to their NBA title chances.
However, losing Curry pushes the Warriors toward potentially falling in the Western Conference standings. With 12 regular-season games left, Golden State sits a game behind the surging Memphis Grizzlies for the second overall spot and only 3.5 games ahead of the Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks.
That isn’t to suggest an extended slide down the standings, but falling to the fourth or fifth seed is possible. Golden State possesses a largely favorable remaining regular-season schedule, featuring only tough matchups against the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Jazz, and Grizzlies.
The Warriors shouldn’t panic, but missing Curry for an extended absence could have possible playoff-changing implications.
Golden State needs to use remaining regular season to find rhythm
As much as the Warriors will miss Curry for the next few weeks, the team controls their destiny.
Vying for the second overall seed remains a strong possibility, as a one-game deficit isn’t much to overcome. Meanwhile, the last 12 games are a chance for Draymond Green to get his legs under him before the playoffs.
Klay Thompson will take an increased offensive role, which will give him ample opportunity to find his rhythm before the playoffs. Jordan Poole will also take on a more significant scoring responsibility, as he’s proved to be a reliable offensive option before Thompson’s return.
In March, Poole has turned a corner, averaging 23.3 points on 56.4% shooting from the floor and 50% from beyond the arc in nine games. That features eight two 20-point outings and two 30-point performances. Golden State sits in a challenging position without Curry, but it could become a blessing in disguise once he returns.