VIDEO: Highlights from Tuesday’s games
NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Why not to fret over Curry’s ankle injury— It is more than understandable if Golden State fans are a little edgy — even with their team up 2-0 on the Houston Rockets in their first-round series. Missing the reigning MVP will do that to a fan base. Stephen Curry got some good news on Tuesday, though as an MRI on his right ankle revealed no serious structural damage. Curry remains questionable for Game 3 on Thursday (9:30 ET, TNT), but as Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group points out, Curry’s body language reasons reveals this is no injury to fret over:
He’s not on crutches or wearing some bulky brace. He hasn’t needed a cortisone shot, which he took in the 2013 playoffs to play through a severely sprained ankle.
More than that, Curry’s mood is a sign of relief for those whose hearts bleed blue and gold. His entire disposition screams “everything is fine.” When he’s not fine, he can’t hide it well.
Past ankle sprains revealed a darker Curry, whose smile was wiped away by frustration, whose eyes revealed an inner war between faith and doubt.
He is not in that space now. After Monday’s game, he was his normally jovial self. His biggest concern right now is the boredom of having to watch instead of play.
Another sign this is not a big concern: Curry would have been holed up in the training room getting ’round-the-clock treatment. Under Armour would have been scrambling for custom shoes to prevent another injury. Doctors would have had him trying RoboCop contraptions to protect his precious wheel.
Instead, a giddy Curry was jumping off the bench in celebration. When James Michael McAdoo joined the bench (there is only room for one inactive player, and the second half was McAdoo’s turn), Curry relocated. He ended up sitting among fans, closer to the scorer’s table than his team. It didn’t stop him celebrating from his seat, jumping up for highlight plays and reloading his right arm, the imaginary barrel of a rocket launcher, on 3-pointers.
With his black blazer in a sea of gold T-shirts, he looked like a conductor of a cheer orchestra as his teammates beat Houston without him. He didn’t come close to resembling the guy of yesteryear who wasn’t sure if his ankle would stunt his stardom.
With all that said, Curry is not completely out of the woods for Game 3 — though it’s going to take an act of Congress to keep him off the court.
This is new territory for him. He is an ankle expert after dozens of sprains, several management techniques and two surgeries. His expertise is not so vast here, which explains his abbreviated pregame warm up before Game 2.
What’s unknown is what this foot injury requires to heal. Curry left room for the possibility he could be wrong about Game 3. Maybe four days off won’t be enough. Maybe the team shuts him down again to be extra cautious, especially since the Warriors know they can beat the Rockets without him.
Plus what we don’t know: Can he cut the same way? Will he be able to drive against a pressure defense, jump and land with the same fluidity? Or will he have to stay on the perimeter and hoist 3-pointers to keep his foot out of harm’s way?
Those are all the questions that will be answered in the coming days as his right wheel gets presidential attention. As of now, Warriors fans can be confident in this: This is nothing like it was in 2013.