With Steph Curry slated to miss at least two weeks with a sprained MCL, the Golden State Warriors find themselves in a precarious position. No, they’re not going to lose to the Rockets, who they can close out at home Wednesday in Game 5. But they might struggle against the Trail Blazers or Clippers in the second round and, most certainly, the Spurs or Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
If Curry does not return this season, can the record-setting Warriors win a championship?
“Personally, I don’t (think so),” CSNBAYAREA.com senior insider Ray Ratto said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think they could get by either the Clippers or Portland. But the energy they would expend against the Clippers would really hurt them against San Antonio. Plus, San Antonio matches up much better with them when they don’t have Curry basically disrupting the laws of basketball. So I don’t see how they get by San Antonio without Curry, and if they do, I don’t see how they get by a healthy Cleveland without him.”
Curry injured his knee after slipping in the first half against Houston in Game 4. It would be one thing if he were only going to miss two weeks. Unfortunately for Golden State, he could miss even more time than that.
“It’s not a two-week problem at best because nobody’s quite sure how long it’s going to take,” Ratto said. “It’s going to be two weeks, plus there’s going to be some rust because he really hasn’t played a long stretch of a game since the end of a regular season. Plus, Carli Lloyd got the same injury within the last two days and she’s out for six weeks. So this is a guesstimate that it’s going to be two weeks. It’s going to be two weeks and then they will re-evaluate, so it could be closer to three or four. So it could be that big of a deal, especially if they play the Clippers, who always play them tough.”
The Clippers, however, will be severely hampered going forward. Chris Paul fractured the third right metacarpal – the center palm of his shooting hand – in Monday’s 98-84 loss to Portland. Blake Griffin, meanwhile, suffered a quad injury in the same game and could miss Game 5 in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
That series is tied at two games apiece.