Steph Curry doesn't believe he's in a slump: 'Just missing shots'

Steph Curry doesn't believe he's in a slump: 'Just missing shots'

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry wants no part of the word “slump.” Doesn’t use it, doesn’t care to be associated with it and doesn’t believe it applies to his, um, diminished shooting accuracy.

“I never really use that word because a slump, to me, connotes that you lose a little bit of confidence and what not,” Curry said Tuesday morning after shootaround in advance of the Warriors-76ers game Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

“Obviously, I’d like to shoot better and make more shots, and I’m sure that’ll happen,” he added. “But I woke up this morning not thinking about what’s happened the last four or five games. It’s a new day, a new opportunity.”

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The last seven games have not met the offensive standard set by Curry, who last season led the NBA in scoring and has won the MVP award in each of the past two seasons. Over that stretch, he's shooting just over 40 percent from the field and below 24 percent from deep.

Curry insisted there are no mechanical issues, that his shot has “felt OK” even if the numbers don’t reflect that.

Slump? Maybe?

“I’m just missing shots,” he said. “There are no two ways around it. Shots that I normally take and make aren’t falling. I’m going to keep shooting them until they do.”

Curry’s 39.3-percent shooting beyond the arc represents a career-low and a steep drop from last season, when he shot an absurd 45.4 percent from deep. His previous career-low is 42.4 percent in 2013-14.

He’s shooting 46.1-percent overall, which would be the second-lowest percentage of his career (45.1 in 2012-13).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has consistently said Curry’s numbers are fine, but that the bar has been set so high that any perceptible decline can’t escape notice. Curry generally agrees.

“The narrative is different, based on how I’ve been shooting,” he said. “So, it’s different. I’m cool with that.”

Curry said he plans no change to his usual routines for practice, shootaround or pregame. He indicated his voluminous off-court activities and obligations have been curtailed as the regular season winds down.

“There is a high demand on my time, and you try and protect it at all costs,” he said. “There are busier weeks than others. But my first job is to play basketball, and that’s my focus and my priority. Nothing trumps my preparation when it comes to that. And that would be pretty much from now until the end of the year, where there’s nothing really going on.”

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

OAKLAND -- The words came dribbling out slowly, ruefully and with more than a trace of despair.

JaVale McGee, the 7-foot accidental villain, could barely speak about his role Friday night in the moment that left the Warriors pleading for mercy while their fans were screaming at the sky.

Stephen Curry, returning to the lineup after a six-game absence due to a right ankle sprain, lasted 25 minutes before sustaining another injury, this one a sprain to his left MCL. The two-time MVP will undergo an MRI test Saturday.

“I pray to God,” McGee said, “that nothing’s wrong with him.”

The injury occurred with 3:09 left in the third quarter. After biting on a pump fake by Atlanta forward Mike Muscala, McGee wound up tumbling backward, with his 270 pounds landing directly at the front Curry legs. Curry immediately started limping away, with the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena gasping in horror.

“I was trying to block a shot,” McGee said beneath a vacant stare, “and I ran into him.”

That’s the kind of month it has been for the Warriors. All four of their All-Stars have been knocked out of action by an array of injuries.

Curry went down March 8 after tweaking his surgically repaired right ankle. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured March 11 at Minnesota, Durant sustaining a rib cartilage injury after taking a elbow from 7-foot Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Thompson spraining his right thumb after making contact with Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague.

Draymond Green began the next week as the team’s only healthy All-Star, a distinction that lasted eight days before he was struck down with a pelvic contusion Monday night in San Antonio.

“It’s like a juju or something on us,” McGee said. “I’ve never been part of a team where everybody just got injured, especially the starters. It’s kind of scary to tell the truth.”

Durant, Thompson and Green were unavailable Friday night, which is why Curry’s return was so encouraging. After a 2-point first quarter during which he went 1-of-6 from the floor, Curry found his stroke and over his next 16 minutes scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

Then came the most frightening moment of the night, throwing a massive damper on a 106-94 victory.

“I assumed it was his ankle when he came out hobbling and I found it was his knee,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We will see what the MRI says tomorrow.

“There is not a whole lot we can do or predict. It’s kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate. He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks and gets that strong and the knee goes. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed.”

The Warriors came out of the All-Star break fairly healthy and ready to make a run at the No. 1 overall seed. They’ve achieved it in each of the last three seasons, coming away with two championships.

Hopes of getting there this season have disappeared under a pile of injuries, all of them coming over the last 16 days. As of late Friday night, there was no knowing how serious Curry’s injury is, or how long he might be out.

What’s known is that it was another in a succession of frightful moments.

“It’s a little somber in there,” Kerr said of the locker room. “Everybody feels for Steph. But it’s more a case of just keep going and keep pushing forward. We’ll come into tomorrow, short practice and get ready for Utah.”

That’s at the request of the schedule. That’s a dose of NBA reality on a grim night.

McGee didn’t seem ready for that. He was feeling awful about the entire episode.

“I can’t describe it,” he said of the play that followed everyone into the night. “Everybody has a TV. I fell into him and . . . I know y’all (reporters) don’t think I’m standing here like, ‘Yes, I fell into him.’

“That’s a star player. Of course, we don’t want him to be injured, especially after he came back. So I feel very bad for the fact that I was a part of that.”

McGee said he hopes Curry is out no more than a couple games.

The Warriors would be ever so pleased if it’s a couple weeks. They want to be whole for the postseason,, the only season by which they will be measured and a season that, on this night, nobody was of a mood to visualize.

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry lasted 25 minutes Friday night before limping out of another game.

He was diagnosed with a sprained left MCL and did not return after sustaining the injury.

Curry came up limping after center JaVale McGee, leaping for a rebound, tumbled backward into his lower legs with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors-Hawks game at Oracle Arena.

Immediately, the sellout crowd let out a collective groan.

Curry, his face a mask of dejection, headed for the bench, where he was examined by Warriors physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane. The two then headed into the locker room.

Curry scored a team-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game. This was his first appearance since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle, causing him to miss six games.

Curry has missed 21 of the team’s 71 games. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday, and his status beyond that is yet to be determined. 

This story is being updated.