The return of Stephen Curry Sunday was expected by many. After all, many thought that he would sit out until the Warriors lost to the Rockets or moved on, whichever happened first. Well, on Friday they lost to the Rockets, so Stephen was back out there contributing for his team. He looked a little rusty while he was out there and that was expected. He missed a few shots that he would normally hit. But he also showed the flashes of what makes him one of the most dangerous players in the NBA.
The Warriors were in a battle with Houston at home and the game was going back and forth in the first half. But the feelings of Curry working his way back in ended in the second quarter. At the end of the half, Curry was playing defense on a last-second dash to get a basket before the half, when he slipped in a wet spot created by the fall of Donatas Motiejunas. The wet spot had Curry lose his balance, causing his legs to go out from under him and his right knee to wobble and hit the ground awkwardly. Curry would limp to the locker room on that right knee. And when he tried to return in the second half, he could not get enough confidence in that knee to get back on the court. He left to go to the locker room and never returned. The Warriors won the game 121-94, but that win was marred by the injury to Curry.
As of right now, the Warriors have diagnosed Curry with a sprained knee. Now that could keep him out for a good while with his style of play. Of course we won’t know the real amount of damage until the MRI comes back. But what if the Warriors are without their star player for an extended amount of time or the rest of the season? We saw them in the regular season without him for a few games, and to their credit, they played well. But without him in the playoffs is a different story. The Warriors will now shift guard Shaun Livingston from bench player to starting point guard. With Livingston in the starting lineup, the shooting of the Warriors is not the same. Livingston is not a three-point shooter at all. But what he does that Steph cannot do is add post game to this team. Livingston is 6’7” and is taller than any point guard that he will face. That leads to him getting down in the post or pulling up and shooting midrange jump shots over the top of opposing guards. And with him shooting at a 53.6% rate, he has been more than capable of making it happen for the Warriors.
But other than Livingston replacing Curry in the starting lineup, Draymond Green’s role becomes even more important. The utility man for the Warriors can do anything the Warriors need. And with Curry out, his versatility will be on full display. Look for Green to start the game at power forward. And usually he slides to the center spot in small lineups the Warriors use during the game. But looking that the Warriors backup point guard spot behind Livingston, look for Green to also run the offense as the point forward. Ian Clark and Leandro Barbosa are not traditional point guards and are more known for their shooting ability than their ability to run an offense. With Green at point forward, that will allow them to play their usual roles while Green facilitates the offense. This facilitation of the offense is nothing new for Green though. He is the team leader in assists this year with 6.3 per game. Along with Green running the offense, also look for veteran Andre Iguodala to run the offense at times as well. Iguodala has played the point forward role in his career and has done so quite well. And he averages 4.3 assists himself when he does not really run the point guard position. Needless to say, the point guard role will be filled by more than one player while Steph is out. But while both Green and Iguodala can shoot the basketball, they sure cannot shoot it like Steph. But who can?
The loss of Steph Curry for an unknown amount of time will ……….. (to read the complete article – click on link | http://ow.ly/4n3Fkh
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former co-host of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on The Everyday Man’s Sports Blog (www.theeverydaymanssportsblog.com ). Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.