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With the Playoff now underway, the Golden State Warriors will be hoping that star guard Stephen Curry is fit and firing, having suffered a worrisome sprained ligament in his left foot through March and early April which ruled him out of the final stretch of the Regular Season.
Whether Curry is back or not, the Warriors are in the midst of the Playoffs and facing a complicated question: Does it matter that Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have played only a few minutes together throughout this season?
“I don’t think about it. There’s no point,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s a waste of energy. I just think about what’s next. If we end up with those guys all together for the playoff games? Great! Let’s go! I like our chances. But I’m looking forward. I’m not looking backward.”
The status of Curry will be key to Golden State’s hopes, though Kerr is not concerned about him being rusty after a spell on the sidelines. “I’m not worried about him,” Kerr said. “All it takes is one made shot and he’s back in rhythm.”
The Warriors lack perspective, however, on how long it will take for the group to adjust to having their familiar All-Stars together at once. Curry, Thompson and Green have won three NBA titles together in five Finals appearances.
They likely have enough muscle memory to reunite seamlessly, even if they have all only appeared in one game collectively this season. The Warriors also have key role players from those championship teams that have learned how to play with and without any of their key All-Stars, including Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney and Damion Lee.
“We have the confidence that if we’re healthy, we can play against anybody,” Looney said. “We’re not really worried about a matchup. We feel like we’re versatile enough to match up with anybody.”
Kerr, on Curry’s eventual return, added: “I think he’ll respond quickly. This is not like starting the season where he doesn’t have a training camp foundation beneath him. He’s been in great shape all year. That doesn’t just go away in a couple of weeks. So, I imagine and know he’ll put all of the work in.”
Curry’s importance was further underlined by reserve forward Nemanja Bjelica, who explained: “He’s one of the best players in the league. Just having him on the court, everybody is focusing on him. That opens everything for any player on the floor at that time.
“We really miss him, but this is not the reason why we played bad and we lost a couple of games. It’s the way this league is. It’s tough to win and be consistent. Hopefully when the playoffs start, we have experience from these tough losses when we were playing bad and it’s going to help us.”
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Catch the following NBA Playoff Games live on ESPN this week
- All times CAT
Sunday 24 April
- 19:00: NBA Playoff Game, Teams TBC – LIVE on ESPN 2
- 21:30: NBA Playoff Game, Teams TBC – LIVE on ESPN 2
Thursday 28 April
- 01:30: NBA Playoff Game, Teams TBC – LIVE on ESPN 2