By VANISA CLAY
With March Madness coming to an end, some turn their attention to the upcoming NBA championships. The Golden State Warriors ranked second in the Western Conference after the Houston Rockets are a strong contender for this years, 2018 NBA championship. The Warriors have had a great season with 54 wins. As of this article the Warriors will be going into the NBA playoffs without many of their star players due to injuries and illness.
Omri Casspi injured his ankle on Mar. 16 he did not play Sunday but could return this week. Kevin Durant has had soreness in his right rib and won’t be playing on Sunday. He has been out since Mar. 14, but may be able to return on Tuesday. He has missed a total of 12 games this season. Draymond Green has been suffering with a pelvic contusion. He was expected to return on Sunday, but didn’t due to flu-like symptoms. Patrick McCaw has been out with a bruised lower back contusion. He did play for 22 minutes on Friday against the Atlanta Hawks. Klay Thompson fractured right thumb, which has taken him out of play since March 11. Nick Young played Sunday, despite knee problems. The most problematic issue facing Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, is the loss of point guard and 2-time MVP Steph Curry.
Steph Curry has a Grade 2 MCL sprain of his left knee. Curry injured his knee after his teammate, center JaVale McGee, landed on him as McGee attempted to block a shot on Friday against the Hawks. Curry had just return to play on Friday after being absent for six games due to an ankle injury. Due to the sprained knee Curry will be out the rest of the regular season. It is unclear how much of the postseason he will miss but coach, Steve Kerr, says it will be at least the first round of this year’s playoffs.
“Oh, there’s no way he’s playing in the first round,” Kerr said. “There’s no way. So yeah, we have to be ready to play without him and see how he’s coming along. The good thing is, we’ve been through this. We should feel good about our ability to play through this stuff. We also know that Steph has a history of coming back strong from injuries. So, there’s a good chance, if all goes well, he comes back during the playoffs at some point, we’re at full steam. So that’s the goal and that’s our plan.” comments by Steve Kerr as reported by NBA.com.
Curry does seem to make strong returns from injuries, but some have speculated that in the past he has returned to soon after an injury. As in the case of the 2016 playoffs. Curry had a Grade 1 MCL sprain of the right knee in the 2016 playoffs which kept him out of play for 15 days. That injury occurred late in the first round against the Houston Rockets. It kept him out until Game Three of the second-round verses Portland Trail Blazers. While Curry and the Warriors won the Western Conference in 2016, they lost their 3-1 lead in the finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Which sports writer Sam Amick, for USA Today, believes that loss of the NBA Championship had lot to do with Steph Curry coming back too soon from that injury to his right knee.
“When Curry was asked on Sunday if he believes he came back too early during that postseason run, he darted past the question as if it was a defender on the break. ‘It don’t matter,’ he said with a shrug. Except that it really, really does. Curry knows it. Longtime Warriors trainer Chelsea Lane knows it. And Kerr, who has said so many times recently that Curry’s voice in matters like these isn’t nearly as vital as Lane’s, most certainly knows it.”