After planting his right foot awkwardly during an inbound pass, Warriors star Stephen Curry is considered questionable for Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs first round.
Curry had been the subject of attention from the Houston Rockets throughout the first half of Saturday’s Game 1, and engaged in a confrontation with Rockets’ guard Patrick Beverly.
“Right now, I don’t see a scenario where I’ll be out. Obviously if I’m not right and I’ll be at risk for a further injury, that’s the only thing that I think we’re going to have to worry about. Pain tolerance and all that stuff, I kind of know what I can deal with on the court. But you don’t want anything more serious to happen. Favoring an ankle or what not.”
Curry tried to change direction abruptly, and says he felt a tweak. He managed a few more possession, but head coach Steve Kerr yanked him from the game for good.
After the game, Kerr said that even if the Warriors weren’t winning by a large margin, he wasn’t letting Curry back in. While the game was physical, and Curry was issued a technical foul stemming from the brief skirmish with Beverly, Curry considers playoff basketball to be a physical animal.
Where tough play is expected and desired. Kerr and Rockets head coach J.B. Bickerstaff agree.
But losing a player like Curry is a concern. Teams have gone after him for year, keyed in on the reigning MVP and sometimes taking a “by any means necessary” approach.
Curry’s right ankle has been operated on twice, and cost him much of his early career. So any concerns hold validity, and it’s tough to argue that Curry is the glue that holds Golden State’s championship dreams together.
Draymond Green opined on what Curry missing a game would mean:
“One man’s not going to come out and be Steph Curry for us. We have to come out and do it collectively. We had the blueprint at New Year’s Eve I think it was. So it’s happened before. Not that it’s going to be easy, but we know we can do it if we have to.”
“I always write the five players names on the board of who I’m sending out there, and he saw that his name wasn’t on there and he was incredulous. I said ‘I don’t like the way you’re moving right now,’ and he said ‘no I’ll be alright.’ Of course he’s going to say that, he’s a competitor and he wants to play. We’re not going to let him play if there’s any risk of making it worse. Obviously we’re hoping to be in the playoffs for the next couple of months, so we don’t want to take any chances.”
By all accounts, incredulous might be an understatement. After Kerr described Curry as someone who looks like a choirboy but also one of the most competitive people around, the star explained the lengths he went to get back in the game:
“I tried three separate times. I was 0-for-3. I even went to Luke and tried to get some help. I went to Q, our assistant coach, and we all swung and missed.”
Curry injured his right ankle during the Western Conference Semi-Finals in 2014 against the Spurs, and though he played through it, didn’t feel one bit comfortable.
He flashed back to that moment after he left the court for the Golden State locker room, but said that Saturday’s injury didn’t feel nearly as bad. Curry said:
“Hopefully it responds well in the next few days, but that was one that I remember it really, really bothered me every time I didn’t any kind of move. So I think this well hopefully be better.”