Down goes Curry again, who shows immense MVP value while missing 2nd half/OT vs. Nuggets
On the surface, the Golden State Warriors can feel good about winning a game Saturday night despite missing their leader and the league’s Most Valuable Player for the second half and overtime.
But blowing a 26-point lead at home against the 12-22 Denver Nuggets and barely escaping in overtime for a 111-108 win again begs the question: How good are the Warriors without Steph Curry? And (gulp) what if he got seriously hurt?
Mind you, any NBA team would be hampered without its star player. But some teams, namely the San Antonio Spurs, may seem better equipped to handle a big-name loss to their starting lineups.
Sidelined the previous two games with a bruised lower left leg, Curry returned to the lineup against the Nuggets. And before the game, it sure looked like the ol’ Curry was cooking.
— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) January 3, 2016
— LetsGoWarriors(@LetsGoWarriors) January 3, 2016
Early on, it was the same Steph toying with the opposition, helping the Warriors cruise to a 63-47 halftime lead.
StephCurry's handle here is off the charts, don't think you can defend this any better than Gallinaridid pic.twitter.com/1v52kRe8T2
— CJ Fogler(@cjzero) January 3, 2016
But when it came time for the start of the second half, word spread quickly that the Steph Show was done for the night.
The second half is about to start and Steph Curry is still in the #Warriors’ locker room.
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) January 3, 2016
StephCurry was hit in his already injured left leg and is not on floor for start of 3Q vs. Denver. Warriors down to 8 players in uniform
— J.A. Adande(@jadande) January 3, 2016
StephCurry: Left shin contusion. (Hit again there) Will not return.
— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude(@ROSGO21) January 3, 2016
Curry reinjured the same ailing lower left leg when he got kicked playing defense.
The star point guard finished with five points, four assists and two steals in 14-plus minutes. He will be re-evaluated Sunday to determine his status for Monday night’s home game against Charlotte.
"I just re-injured the same thing, so I’ll be all right," Curry said. "I know exactly what it is. Whenever you hurt something and you try to play through a little bit of discomfort and just get out there, it’s usually a magnet for something to happen."
— Poor Man's Commish(@poormanscommish) January 3, 2016
Of course, Curry played it cool and this specific injury is likely nothing to worry about long term. But, watching the Warriors without their superstar is clearly not the same — the lowly Nuggets dropped further proof, staging a huge rally and holding the NBA’s best team to just 12 points in the final quarter. Frankly, Curry could put up a 12-spot in two or three minutes.
So, are the Warriors still the league’s best team without Steph? Hmm, taking stock of tonight’s evidence: Golden State shot out to a 21-2 lead WITH STEPH and led by 16 at the half, then were outscored 61-48 the rest of the way WITHOUT STEPH. Against the Nuggets. At home.
Hate how people act like the Warriors are anything special without StephCurry. They need him same way any other team needs their star
— Victor Dukes (@VictorDukes23) January 3, 2016
OK, sure, it’s certainly not time to panic. But, for those fans who seem to revel in panic and paranoia that the sky is always falling (I’m looking at you, Cleveland. And Philly. And Detroit. And . . .), it brings to mind a few stats and nuggets in the recent aftermath of the team’s first game it played this season without Curry, a 114-91 blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Take this all with a grain of salt (and note, actual statistics were accurate at the time the tweets were posted). But, just sayin’.
Tonight's 23-point loss is Warriors' worst loss without StephCurry since 2012. pic.twitter.com/fEAGKFaFJK
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 31, 2015
Since start of 2013-14 season, Warriors are 1-6 without StephCurry
— Mark Followill(@MFollowill) December 31, 2015
Without Steph Curry, the Warriors are 17-43. pic.twitter.com/RHCAG8MUap
— FOX Sports Live (@FOXSportsLive) December 31, 2015
Steph Curry net rating: Warriors are +22.3 points per 100 possessions with him, but are -5.3 points per 100 possessions without him
— Zac Lee (@Zaclee_nyc) December 30, 2015
The Associated Press contributed to this report.