Warriors host Hawks, Young without Curry
OAKLAND, Calif. — The highly anticipated first head-to-head meeting between two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry and rising star Trae Young apparently won’t be happening when the Golden State Warriors host the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Curry, who suffered a strained groin in Thursday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, missed his second straight game Monday night when the Warriors were beaten 121-116 in overtime by the Los Angeles Clippers.
Before the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr indicated Curry would not play against the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back, either.
“He’s doing OK,” the coach explained to reporters. “It’s a tricky injury. He’s never had a groin injury before. The MRI was encouraging and didn’t appear to be anything dramatic. But the MRI doesn’t always tell the story. You have to go on symptoms.”
The clubs will meet again in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
It’s no surprise that the Warriors would be conservative with the health of the league’s leading 3-point shooter. That’s how they treated his injuries last season when Curry missed 31 games during the regular season and six in the playoffs.
Comparisons between Curry and Young began last season when the Oklahoma star averaged 27.4 points, shooting 36 percent on 3-pointers.
The numbers were similar to Curry’s senior season at Davidson nine years earlier, when he went for 28.6 points per game on 38.7-percent 3-point shooting.
Curry averaged 3.8-for-9.9 on 3’s in his final college season, while Young went 3.7-for-10.3.
The standout little guys met off the court last season in Los Angeles. Young had heard the comparisons to Curry well before that, and has grown to embrace them.
“I love the comparisons,” he assured over the summer. “He’s a two-time MVP and a champion. I love the comparison, but I feel like I bring a lot of different things from different players, different players’ games to the table. I’m just trying to be the best version of Trae Young. That’s all that matters to me. I’m just getting started in this thing. Hopefully I can achieve some of those things.”
The rival point guards haven’t had similar starts to their NBA careers.
Curry attempted 32 3-pointers in his first 13 games in 2009, making 14. He averaged 10.2 points per game.
Meanwhile, Young has already fired up 81 3-point attempts, making 23. His scoring average (18.5) is well ahead of Curry’s early pace.
Young has scored in double figures in all 13 games, going for a double-double in five of them, including contributing 20 points and 12 assists to Sunday’s 107-106 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
With or without Curry, the game figures to turn into a 3-point shooting contest.
The Warriors rank sixth in the NBA in made 3-pointers with 12.5 per game and lead the league in 3-point field-goal percentage at 41.9.
The Hawks, meanwhile, are shooting more 3s than last season (35.3, up from 31.0) and are making more (11.8, up from 11.2), but not hitting them at the same rate (33.6 percent, down from 36.0).