After years of NBA dominance, the Golden State Warriors have completely fallen off a cliff thanks to injuries to their two best players. They currently have the worst record in the league, but finally got some good news with former MVP Steph Curry returning to action on Thursday. His return earned a response from Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
It’s hard to argue that the NBA has missed Curry. Unfortunately, the Warriors have an almost impossible road to getting back into playoff contention. Curry and Golden State have been the league’s best villains over the last few years and it’ll be exciting to have them back at full strength next season.
Results Were Mixed in Curry’s Return
There was a lot of excitement around Curry’s return to the basketball court, but he picked a bad time to come back as the Warriors ran into a hot Toronto Raptors team. Golden State lost by eight points and Curry didn’t have his best output. He went 6 for 16 from the field and 3 for 12 from the three-point line. He finished the game with 23 points and seven assists.
It makes sense why Curry might have a little rust considering he hasn’t played in months. It’ll probably take a few games for him to return to form, but he’ll get there eventually. It’ll be interesting to see how much Steve Kerr and the Warriors let him play during this lost season.
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Makes More Sense for Warriors to Sit Curry for the Season
At this point, there is almost no reason for the Warriors to play Curry. They’re almost mathematically eliminated from playoff contention and risking injury to an injury-prone star is never a good idea. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith isn’t happy about Golden State playing their star.
“I just wish he – like Klay Thompson – sat out the whole damn year and I see them next year because I don’t want anything to happen to Steph Curry at all,” Smith said on First Take.
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to play Curry right now. They are set to return at full force starting next season and if they keep losing, they could end up with the number one pick in this year’s draft. Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and the top prospect in this year’s draft is a formidable lineup and the Warriors could get right back into title contention.
If Curry keeps playing and gets hit with a really bad injury, that could derail their 2020-2021 season before it even starts. That’s certainly not worth the risk. Obviously, if he’s healthy, he’s probably going to want to play. Even with the playoffs almost out of reach, there’s no doubt he still loves to play basketball. However, there’s no reason to believe the Warriors won’t be every bit as good as the Clippers or Lakers next season if they return healthy. Now’s not the time to risk future success.