Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are looking to manage without Kevin Durant… for now. The current Western Conference Champs faced the scare of the season during their Washington game, Tuesday. It was in the first quarter of Golden State’s 112-108 loss. Marcin Gortat bumped into Zaza Pachulia, who inadvertently tumbled into Durant’s leg. That forced him to limp off the floor and not return to the game.
After a short window where it seemed like the injury was possibly season-ending, Durant’s injury was eventually diagnosed as a moderate knee sprain and a bruised tibia. He will be re-evaluated after four weeks but will be expected to return this season. And just in time for the playoffs, too.
“There was definitely a sense of relief,” Stephen Curry said, shortly before the Warriors’ Thursday game against the Chicago Bulls. “Our job now is to continue being us, continue to get wins, continue to play well, continue to build toward the playoffs and then when he’s able to rejoin us, hopefully we hit our stride and be ready to try and win another championship.”
The Golden State Warriors still remain oddsmakers’ favorites to walk away with the title. At the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, their odds dropped only from minus-220 to minus-200 after the injury.
Perhaps, having two former MVP’s instead of one on the team allows the ship to stay afloat. Stephen Curry may not be having the historical season he had last year. But he’s still averaging 24.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.3 assists a game, with a 40.3% shooting clip from beyond the arc. Expect those numbers to only go up, with KD out of the picture.
By all means, these Warriors are still Finals-bound. And after last year’s embarrassing collapse at the NBA Finals, expect that Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are hungry for redemption.
The Best Record
The potential challenger as of the moment? The Tim Duncan-less Spurs. The San Antonio Spurs now hold a 46-13 record, a mere 4 games behind the Golden State Warriors’ 50-10.
Kawhi Leonard is having something of an excellent season himself. A stat line of 25.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists is no joke, either.
If Stephen Curry and the Warriors so much as trip en route to the playoffs, the Spurs could take advantage and claim the number one seed.
Draymond Green doesn’t look too worried about that, though. Not yet. “It’s not the end of the world,” he said, “We’ve still got to go out and win basketball games. Home court in the playoffs, of course, that’s the goal.”