The Warriors saw it, fans around the NBA have seen it and Stephen Curry actually felt it.
With 3:21 remaining in the first quarter Tuesday night in New Orleans, Curry’s right ankle gave way without contact and he crumpled to the floor. He got up, adjusted his ankle brace and played on for another 46 seconds before raising his hand indicating he needed to come out.
Steph went back to the locker room after rolling his right ankle. pic.twitter.com/3BH4NlNDjo— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) April 10, 2019
As Curry jogged into the locker room, a familiar routine resurfaced. Everyone affiliated with the Warriors or cheering for them – or merely hoping to see Curry at his full powers in the postseason – went through various stages of concern, from panic to hope to worry to anxiety.
In an instant, the Warriors and their fans were reminded of the thin line between rolling confidently into the postseason and easing in under a cloud of apprehension.
Curry was diagnosed with “mild sprain” of his right foot, according to the Warriors.
That’s not what coach Steve Kerr said to reporters at Smoothie King Center.
“Sprained ankle,” he said after the Warriors’ 112-103 win over the Pelicans. “He’s in (the trainer’s room) icing it.
“We think he’s going to be fine. He tweaked it and we weren’t going to mess around.”
Curry already was scheduled to sit out the regular-season finale Wednesday in Memphis, and Kerr reiterated that the team’s catalyst “probably” will sit – he definitely will sit – adding that he expects Curry to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs this weekend.
This was, of course, the scenario the Warriors wanted to avoid. Citing overall team health as a priority, Kerr planned to rest some veteran regulars Tuesday and the others Wednesday in the regular-season finale in Memphis.
It appears the Warriors got lucky here, but there’s no way to know for sure until Wednesday at the soonest. If there is swelling, go ahead and sweat. If not, go ahead and exhale.
There is a long history of Curry spraining his ankles/feet and his recovery time has ranged from the worst – surgery nearly seven years ago – to miraculously immediate, as when he left and returned in the third quarter on Feb. 27, 2016 at Oklahoma City, and ended up drilling a game-winning, 37-foot 3-pointer in overtime.
Which is why there is dread and hope. Always. Fortunately for the Warriors and Curry, hope has the edge for now.
One more game to go, and no doubt Warriors fan will be crossing their fingers.