Steph Curry was reportedly ready to get back to the court after suffering a scary injury against the Houston Rockets this week, but the Golden State Warriors said they are playing it safe.
The All-Star guard was hurt at the end of the third quarter of Wednesday’s game, losing his balance after a missed three-pointer and stumbling toward the sidelines, where he fell hard to the ground and suffered a tailbone contusion. Curry missed both ends of a back-to-back series against the Memphis Grizzlies this weekend, and the team provided an update on his condition.
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Warriors Not Rushing Curry Back
Head Coach Steve Kerr shed some light on Curry’s injury ahead of Saturday’s contest in Memphis, saying that Curry was still in pain and it would not be responsible to rush him back to the court until the injury is fully healed.
“It would be irresponsible, I think, for us to play him at this point,” Kerr said, via the USA Today’s Warriors Wire. “He’s still in pain. [Warriors athletic trainer] Drew Yoder told me we have to make sure he’s stable and strong in that area and the muscles around the injury. It’s not even a question of temptation to put him out there. It’s just; we’re going to do what’s right medically. When he’s ready, he’s ready.”
Curry may believe that he’s ready to return. Ahead of Friday’s opening contest of the two-game tilt against the Grizzlies, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that Curry himself wanted to play, but that the team opted for a more cautious approach.
Other Warriors Players Step Up
With Curry out, backup Jordan Poole has slid into the starting lineup and filled some of the void left by the All-Star’s absence. He scored 25 and 26 points in the two contests in Memphis, and Slater noted in a story for The Athletic that Poole has been particularly effective in facilitating the offense. He had five assists and zero turnovers in Saturday night’s contest, and across the last seven games has 18 assists with only two turnovers.
Andrew Wiggins has also stepped up, scoring a season-high 40 points in Friday’s game and adding another 20 on Saturday. After Friday’s win, Wiggins said the players knew they would need to make up for Curry’s absence.
“Steph’s a big part of this team. He’s what makes this team go. With him being out, it was like everybody had to step up. I just tried to be aggressive from the start,” Wiggins said, via ESPN. “I just tried to fill in as much as I could, do what I can to help the team go.”
But as ESPN’s Kevin Pelton pointed out in a recent mailbag, the Warriors could be in trouble if Curry were to miss an extended period. With fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson out for the season, Curry has shouldered an even larger share of the team’s offensive burden this year. Pelton noted that the Warriors’ offensive rating is 13.8 points per 100 possessions better with Curry on the court, which is even higher when the game is competitive.
“Cleaning the Glass, which strips out garbage time, has Curry making an even bigger impact: plus-19.4 points per 100 possessions, easily best in the league,” he noted.