After Steph Curry’s shoulder injury, what’s next for the struggling Warriors?

After Steph Curry’s shoulder injury, what’s next for the struggling Warriors?

After Steph Curry’s shoulder injury, what’s next for the struggling Warriors?

INDIANAPOLIS — About 30 minutes after the Warriors fell to 2-13 on the road, Steph Curry sat in his Indianapolis locker with his left arm dangling by his side in a motionless position. Training personnel wrapped a huge ice pack around the top and back of his injured shoulder. An already shaky state of affairs for the Warriors had hit an even bigger trouble spot.

Curry had 38 points on 19 shooting late in the third quarter against the Pacers, expending so much energy that he delayed returning to the locker room at halftime to catch his breath. He had 27 points, but his team trailed by 20.

Curry was part of a quick comeback in the third quarter. The Warriors started Jonathan Kuminga in place of Kevon Looney, switching to a smaller, faster, more spread out offense that trimmed the Pacers’ lead from 20 to five in under six minutes. Curry was 11 in the quarter and 38 for the game when he reached on a Jalen Smith drive, grabbing all the ball as he inadvertently sent this season Warriors on yet another inaccurate deflection.

Curry felt immediate pain in his left shoulder. He grabbed it, crumpled out of play, tripped over the scorer’s table and eventually onto the dugout after the Warriors called timeout. After a brief conversation with Drew Yoder, the team’s director of medical services, confirmed the discomfort at hand, Curry went to the locker room with Rick Celebrini, the primary medical decision maker.

Here is that moment.

In that clip, you can see Curry holding his left arm in place. It was still like this after the game as Curry walked around the locker room, before and after icing him. He’s scheduled for an MRI on Thursday and plans to travel with the team to Philadelphia. Testing will give them a firmer idea of ​​a possible timeline, but the post-match feeling from those around the squad was that the injury would force some sort of multi-match absence that would presumably extend through the rest of the season. voyage.

“Maybe it will get a little more difficult if Steph is out for a while,” said Steve Kerr. “I mean, if she’s out, she’s definitely going to get tougher. But we just have to persevere. You keep playing and you keep fighting.

It wasn’t a despondent locker room after the game. Besides the added discomfort and treatment, Curry was in normal spirits. Assuming tests don’t reveal more damage than initially expected, this could just turn out to be a slowdown. But the 14-15 Warriors already faced a tough challenge before their star player fell. The short term just got a lot more complicated.

So what’s next?

This will be a major stretch for Jordan Poole

When Curry went down in March with a sprained foot, Jordan Poole took it to a whole other level. He led the NBA in threes made in March and April, averaging 24.7 points on 47.3% overall and 41.9% shooting.

They don’t necessarily need him to reach his zenith, but they will need Poole to be more efficient and protective with the ball than he has been lately. Poole shot 8-for-22 and committed four turnovers against the Pacers. He went 6 for 17 with four turnovers to open the trip in Milwaukee. He has only made five of his last 23 attempts of 3.

“The most important thing with Jordan that we’ve been trying to work on is slowing down,” Kerr said. “He’s just in a hurry. He has so much ability. I think sometimes it’s the kids with the most ability when they’re young who make the most mistakes because they’re trying to learn what they can and can’t do. He’s so gifted, so fast, so slippery that he often gets into trouble.”

Do we see more than Moses Moody?

Despite the absence of Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson, the Warriors fell short of Moses Moody for the first 18 minutes against the Pacers. Kerr had two-way player Ty Jerome ahead of Moody in the starting rotation.

But the Warriors struggled with Jerome, Anthony Lamb and JaMychal Green on the court together. They were minus-17 in Jerome’s first nine minutes. This prompted Kerr to throw Moody out. He hit a corner 3 and sneaked a layup in his first few minutes on the field. Down by 20 at halftime, Kerr retooled his rotation in the third quarter and Moody was the first replacement off the bench.

Moody’s finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting, three assists and several other worthwhile plays within the margins. Both Moody and Kuminga, who started the second half, were instrumental in keeping the game competitive, nearly stealing a late win. Green and Donte DiVincenzo also had important roles.

“I’m really happy with his game,” Kerr said when asked if Moody’s earned more. “He has his opportunities and she’s made the most of them. Every game is different. What made this year difficult is that you had different guys, different combinations and a lot of new people. So we’re trying to find the right combinations. But Moses did a great job and I imagine he’ll be out there next game.”

Thompson will be back on Friday against the Sixers. Wiggins will receive a re-evaluation on Thursday and his return is pending. So it might be hard to find Moody plenty of minutes on the wing, but it’s hard to imagine that he hasn’t earned himself a higher place in the pecking order than Jerome.

So what’s the non-curry spin?

If Wiggins can return soon it would be a starting lineup of Poole, Thompson, Wiggins, Draymond Green, Looney. Kuminga continues to work her way into a bigger piece of the rotation pie, and Kerr showed Wednesday that Kuminga is an option for newbies if they decide they need a faster style and different look.

After Kuminga, DiVincenzo is emerging as the most reliable option off the bench. He started in place of Thompson Wednesday night and had 15 points and eight rebounds, making a pair of 3’s essential to keep the Warriors close down the stretch. They were a plus-19 in DiVincenzo’s 38 minutes and a minus-24 in his 10 minutes on the bench.

“My focus is not on the offensive side,” he said. “It comes to mind. But when I put pressure on the rim, good things happen. When I can go downhill, I can get shots from other people, the defense is scrambling, and the ball can find me again. When you play basketball the right way — and that’s the right way, in my opinion, drives and kicks and swings, all that movement — that’s when guys get good shots.

He also became one of the silent leaders in the locker room.

“We needed more energy,” DiVincenzo said. “When things don’t go right, when calls don’t go right, there’s a standard game for the Golden State Warriors. I think the most important message is that we have to play like bloody Warriors. This is the most important thing. We have to have that energy.

How does the program look like?

The Warriors, who are 2-13 on the road, wrap up this longest road of the season with these four games: at Sixers, Raptors, Knicks, Nets. The latter two will be held back-to-back next week on Tuesday and Wednesday. They then have a long break before starting a family of eight games at Christmas against the Grizzlies.

(Photo of Steph Curry grabbing her shoulder in the second half Wednesday night against the Pacers: Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today)

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