Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry will be sidelined for a few weeks because of the shoulder injury he suffered on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.
Curry left the Warriors’ 125-119 loss after hurting his shoulder in the third quarter. On the preceding play, Curry missed a 3-pointer and the long rebound led to a Pacers fast break. As Jalen Smith went to the basket, Curry reached for a steal and hurt his shoulder in the process.
Curry immediately grabbed his shoulder. He was in enough pain for the Warriors to call a timeout, after which he went to the locker room. The team ruled him out for the remainder of the game, but he still finished with with 38 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters that he’d get an MRI on Thursday and the team would “hope for the best.” The team has not issued an official update on his status since.
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The defending-champion Warriors are 10th in the West and 14-15 on the season. Now they’ll be without their franchise player, who is again playing at an MVP level. To say this is a setback would be an enormous understatement. Golden State has scored 120.8 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the court, according to Cleaning The Glass, and has mustered a dismal 103 per 100 without him in non-garbage-time minutes. It has outscored opponents by 8.4 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the court, and it has been outscored by 9.8 per 100 without him, per CTG. He has always had incredible on/off numbers, but this year’s team is particularly top-heavy — it has the league’s worst bench, in terms of aggregate net rating, and its starting lineup has been dominant.
The Warriors have four games remaining on their road trip — Philadelphia, Toronto, New York and Brooklyn — before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 25. That Christmas Day game, which just lost much of its luster, is the beginning of an eight-game homestand, in which Charlotte, Utah, Portland, Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando and Phoenix will also visit Chase Center.
With Curry out of the picture, guard Jordan Poole will assume more playmaking responsibility and presumably remain in the starting lineup when Andrew Wiggins returns from his adductor injury. Poole has been more aggressive, productive and efficient as a starter than as a reserve this season, as evidenced by his per-36-minute splits: 27.7 points (on 58.4 percent true shooting), 4.9 assists, 3.7 turnovers when in the starting lineup; 19.4 points (on 52.9 percent true shooting), 6.4 assists, 4.0 turnovers when coming off the bench.
Curry’s absence will also likely mean backup guard Ty Jerome will see regular minutes. Jerome has been on the fringes of Golden State’s rotation since signing a two-way contract just before the start of the season.