Storyline: Stephen Curry Injury

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“I’m fine, thanks for asking,” Curry said Saturday night. Of course the accident ended in typical Steph way: with a selfie taken with the California Highway Patrol officers, which was posted on Instagram with a reminder to wear your seat belts. What Kerr meant, by calling Curry a unicorn, was that he’s that elusive magical creature that appears only in fantasies. And while NBA general managers may search far and wide for “a Curry” they probably never will find one.

Steph Curry’s groin strain isn’t healing as quickly as expected. On Wednesday, the team announced he’d miss at least another 10 days (and five games) before his next evaluation. On Thursday, Kerr explained the reason for the extended absence. “Obviously, it’s taking longer than we first anticipated, but that’s because the original MRI didn’t show anything terrible,” Kerr said. “I think I referred to it as encouraging. But as (director of sports medicine) Rick (Celebrini) explained to me, the symptoms are the most important. Sometimes, the symptoms and the MRI don’t fit.”

Stephen Curry is 1-for-13 on triples through the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, and, as any observer of the series has noted, he seems to be playing slower than usual. Asked if that’s a conditioning or knee-related issue, Payne, Curry’s personal trainer and the founder and owner of Accelerate Basketball, offered the following explanation. “Just how hard he’s having to work defensively is certainly, probably, showing up on the other end just a little bit,” Payne said. “But that’s not an excuse.” “I really think that with the layoff that they have between last night and when they play again this weekend, there will be a lot of time to kind of reflect on everything — what did and didn’t work.”

After a day off, Curry and the Warriors will practice Monday to prepare for Game 2. The Warriors are still without second-year guard Patrick McCaw (back), who will be re-evaluated in early May and is still walking gingerly. But at least with Curry back, the Warriors’ starting five would be at full strength at the most important time of the season. “It’s exciting for him to get back to the place that he enjoys the most, which is playing basketball,” Durant said. “I’m excited as his brother that he’s out there. We’ll see what happens next game.”

A day before the Warriors begin their second-round series with the New Orleans Pelicans, Curry said he is making significant progress toward a return soon. “I’m getting there, for sure,” Curry said after practice. “I’ve done a lot in the last two weeks, especially on my feet moving, getting back to movements that I expect to do in the games and try to build that tolerance and intensity. My knee feels pretty good. I don’t have any pain with doing the things that I’ve been doing.”

95.7 The Game: Bob Myers on if it’s possible Stephen Curry could play in Game 1 on Saturday via Papa & @BontaHill: “He’s getting close. So, conceivable? I don’t want to put a percentage on it because I don’t know, but I’m not saying inconceivable.”

New Orleans is trying to prepare for both possible versions of the Warriors, including the one they beat at Oracle Arena on April 7. Curry was sidelined for that game, but Kevin Durant poured in 41 points, going 16/26 from the field. The Pelicans won 126-120 partly because their offense received 25 points or more from Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis and Nikola Mirotic, a trio that has played at an elite level throughout an active nine-game winning streak. “A lot of it is personnel, knowing tendencies,” Holiday said of getting ready to face Golden State. “If Steph comes back, you have to be a lot more aggressive on him (in terms of preventing deep three-point shots). If not, with Andre (Iguodala) you have to be aggressive as well, just not in the same way (against a forward who does more attacking and slashing to the basket). The schemes will stay pretty much the same.

Marcus Thompson: “Any hopes of Stephen Curry making it back for Game 1 [of the second round] are much slimmer than it looks like. Because [the media] has been posting videos of Steph doing these workouts, and you know, it feels like, ‘Wow, that dude is ready!’ But he’s not as ready as it looks. He’s not behind schedule, he’s just really on schedule. [And] on schedule doesn’t get him back for Game 1–it’ll be tough for him to get back for Game 1 of the second round. It’s probably going to take the full amount of time, and from what I’ve been told, that’s a little frustrating to him.”
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March 23, 2019 | 2:23 pm EDT Update