After an historic regular season and a solid start to the postseason, the Golden State Warriors may be without their most important player on Monday. Stephen Curry suffered an ankle injury on Saturday against the Houston Rockets, and the future two-time MVP winner is questionable for Game 2 of Golden State’s first-round playoff series.
After he rolled his ankle and barely played in the second half of Game 1, Curry indicated that he expected to play in Game 2. He was seen walking without a noticeable limp the next day, and the injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Head coach Steve Kerr said that Curry was feeling better on Sunday, but the point guard received treatment and didn’t participate in practice.
“We’ll put him through shootaround and it’s mainly what the trainers tell me,” Kerr told ESPN’s Marc Stein. “It’s up to the medical staff. What I need to hear is that there’s no risk of further injury. If there is, then he won’t play. But if he’s good to go and it’s just a little sore and they tell me that they think he’ll be fine, then I’ll let him play.”
Bogut isn't sure whether Curry will play but says, "We're in a position where we'll probably be smart, as coach Kerr said,"
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 17, 2016
Curry and the Warriors got off to such a hot start on Saturday that the team didn’t need their star to be on the floor for the majority of the game. Curry scored 24 points in 20 minutes, and Golden State outscored Houston by 28 points when Curry was in the game. But after cruising to a 26-point victory on Saturday, things will be more difficult if Curry can’t suit up.
During their record-setting 73-win season, the Warriors went 2-1 in games that Curry didn’t play. With an average margin of victory of 10.8 points for the entire season, Golden State was outscored by 14 total points in the three games that Curry was sidelined.
One of Golden State’s wins without Curry was a four-point victory over the Rockets. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 38 points, and Draymond Green added a triple-double. With a healthy Curry, Golden State is 3-0 over Houston, outscoring the Rockets by 59 total points.
If Curry can’t play, Shaun Livingston will start in his place. Livingston is averaging 9.0 points, 4.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game as a starter with a plus-minus of minus-4.7. Livingston’s plus-minus off the bench is plus-7.6.
Golden State is a heavy favorite to defeat Houston and advance to the second round. If Curry can’t go in Game 2, he’ll have a few days to rest before Game 3 on Thursday night.