Stephen Curry harm: Warriors’ gradual begin all of the sudden appears to be like worse as margin for error all however disappears

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That is the issue with getting out the gate slowly, even if you happen to’re a championship horse. You are biding your time earlier than you kick into excessive gear, however then one thing goes incorrect someplace across the first flip, and all of the sudden, as the good Yogi Berra as soon as stated, it begins getting late early. 

That is the Golden State Warriors proper now. At 14-15 and at present clinging to the Western Convention’s final play-in spot, everybody thought that they had loads of time to get on a roll and begin climbing the standings. However now Stephen Curry is reportedly out for a minimum of two weeks, with Shams Charania reporting it’s expected to be closer to a month earlier than he returns, with a left shoulder subluxation, which is a elaborate means of claiming a partial dislocation. 

There is not any strategy to sugarcoat this: The Warriors are a multitude with out Curry. They all the time have been, actually. Even when Kevin Durant was round. Because the star of the 2019-20 season, they’re 24-66 with out him. This season, they’re scoring simply 103 factors per 100 possessions when Curry sits, which might register because the worst offensive ranking within the league by a mile, per Cleansing the Glass. 

In contrast, when Curry is on the courtroom, the Warriors are scoring over 120 factors per 100, which might be the league’s high ranking, per CTG. In different phrases, the distinction between Curry on and off the courtroom is the NBA’s finest and worst offense. Getting by with the latter for probably the subsequent month goes to be an especially difficult, if not inconceivable, endeavor. 

Within the quick time period, the Warriors have to complete out their present street journey, which incorporates 4 extra video games all in opposition to good groups: the Sixers, Raptors, Knicks and Nets. The Warriors are 2-13 on the street to this point. At 1-11, solely the Magic personal a worse street report. 

So straight away, if one thing does not change, the Warriors may very nicely be one thing like 15-18 and even 14-19 heading again dwelling, the place they’ll then face the Grizzlies, the West’s present No. 2 seed, on Christmas. After that, Golden State has dates with Utah, Portland, Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix. 

This isn’t a simple stretch, even when everybody else stays wholesome and Klay Thompson will get inexperienced lit for the three back-to-backs over this stretch. Depth and bench play has been a serious downside for Golden State all season. Yet another harm, and issues get actually bleak. 

To not go all doomsday right here, but when the Warriors pull into mid-January six or seven video games underneath .500, or worse, their margin for error goes to show razor skinny in an clearly deep Western Convention. The excellent news, even at 14-15, is they’re solely three losses out of a top-four seed in the intervening time. Issues are tightly packed. So, in that sense, there is a state of affairs the place the Warriors come out of Curry’s absence not that a lot worse than the place they’re now. 

However, once more, they’re a downright unhealthy group with out Curry. Jordan Poole is now the one reasonable playmaker and he’ll must play large, however that strips the second unit of its lone playmaker. Andrew Wiggins, who has been cleared to return to observe after lacking the final 5 video games with an adductor harm, must get again ASAP. Curry has been the perfect fourth-quarter scorer within the league. Who’s going to get buckets down the stretch ought to the Warriors even discover a strategy to maintain a few of these video games shut?

Certainly, questions abound. It isn’t fairly panic time for the Warriors, however it’s getting shut. Not a lot else can go incorrect. That is what occurs once you put your self in a gap within the first place. 

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