The Pioneer

Warriors win, Curry goes down again

Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Photo Courtesy of Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Louis LaVenture,
Editor-in-Chief

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The entire Bay Area took a collective deep breath on Sunday when the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player, Stephen Curry, slipped just before halftime and sprained his right knee.

On Monday team officials confirmed the injury, a right grade one MCL ligament sprain that happened to the same leg that saw Curry miss games two and three of the series with an ankle injury. That didn’t stop the Golden State Warriors from destroying the Houston Rockets 121-94 and taking a 3-1 advantage in the series, going into game 5 in Oakland.

However, the win came at a huge price. The Dubs will now be without Curry for two weeks, which could spell disaster for the back-to-back championship hopes of Golden State. Owner Bob Myers said Curry would be reevaluated in two weeks to determine his playing status going forward.

“We’ll know a little bit more after the first week, but it is up to how his body responds to rest, treatment, things like that,” Myers told reporters on Monday. “There’s no, nothing surgical needed.”

This is nothing new for Golden State, who were without Curry for several games during the regular season due to injury and also in two games this series in which they went 1-1. This means that role players like guards Shaun Livingston, Leandro Barbosa and sixth man Andre Iguodala will have to step up in the absence of the MVP. The other half of the splash brothers, guard Klay Thompson, will also be asked to take on a larger role in the offense.

“This is nothing new, injuries are part of the whole thing, you have to be able to adjust,” Thompson told reporters on Monday. “It’s easy to say let’s replace the best player in the world but that is the reality. We still have to play without him and find ways to win, which we know we can. Our depth gives us confidence.”

The Warriors were the favorite, not only according to betting lines in Las Vegas, but also according to the majority of analysts like Shaquille O’Neil, Stephen A. Smith and Jeff Van Gundy.

“I had them repeating,” Van Gundy said on ESPN Monday. “Now, I don’t even think they make it out of the conference finals without Curry.”

For Golden State, only time will tell if they can adjust to life without arguably the best basketball player on the planet, however they will have to focus on the team aspect to get over the hurdle. Forward Draymond Green and center Andrew Bogut are great passers for big men and will be counted on to find open shooters, who won’t be as open without Curry on the floor.

With the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers already having swept their first round series, both teams will be able to rest, something the Warriors will be hoping to do if they can win game 5 on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

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