Warriors fans shouldn't feel alone Saturday morning. The NBA playoffs are here with Steph Curry watching from home.
This doesn't just suck for Dub Nation. It sucks for the entire basketball world. Hater or admirer, you have to admit it: You wanted to see what Steph would do next.
That won't happen for the coming months, though. With the Warriors losing to both the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA play-in tournament, Golden State failed to make the playoffs for the second straight season after five trips in a row to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors were 15-50 last season, with Curry playing only five games due to a broken hand. They became quite literally the worst team in the NBA with their two-time MVP sidelined. Even with Draymond Green back but Klay Thompson shelved for the second straight year, the Warriors went 2-7 without Curry this season.
Steph led the NBA in scoring, literally with a broken ass. He's an MVP finalist this season, in what was the best of his illustrious 12-year career. Curry joined the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant in the record books, and passed Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors' all-time leading scorer. At 33 years old, he continued to change the game, running a marathon on the hardwood and making the 3-point line his own personal layup line.
In the Warriors' two play-in losses, Curry scored 37 and 39 points. He made six 3s in both losses, and was plus-4 in plus-minus in both games as well. This wasn't Curry at his best -- he committed 13 turnovers combined -- but it was yet another reminder of what he can do no matter the circumstances against him.
Curry was the only Warriors starter to finish with a positive plus-minus in Golden State's loss to Memphis. Kevon Looney finished minus-15, Kent Bazemore was a minus-10, Andrew Wiggins was minus-8 and even Draymond was a minus-2.
The Warriors' finishing five included one player who recently was converted from a two-way contract and one who had to go to the G League for over a month to find his confidence. Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jordan Poole's development should be seen as nothing but major positives. They're both here to stay for the long haul as important pieces to the puzzle.
But this has to be seen as nothing less than another example of the miracle Curry nearly pulled off this season. He was the Warriors, another reminder the system always has been Steph.
Including the play-in tournament, Curry played 10 games in May. Over that span, he averaged 37 points per game. He played 40 minutes in the regular-season finale, scoring 46 points. He then played 41 minutes against the Lakers and 47 against the Grizzlies.
The Warriors were riding a six-game win streak going into the play-in. There's one man to thank for that.
"You don't want to see us next year," Curry warned the NBA on Friday night.
NBA fans will get to see if a healthy LeBron James and Anthony Davis can repeat as champs this year. They'll see if Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can make the Clippers for real, if Chris Paul and Devin Booker can bring a title to the desert and if the Utah Jazz's collection of talent will result in a championship.
They'll watch Luka, Jokic, Damian Lillard and many more. They'll see if Giannis and the Bucks can get over the hump or if Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo again will play spoiler. They'll see if the New York Knicks are indeed back, and we'll finally know whatever the hell this Big Three in Brooklyn with KD, Kyrie and James Harden is made of.
None of that compares to the Steph Curry Show.
Just remember the last time Curry played in a playoff series. He averaged 30.5 points per game in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, all while Kevin Durant played only 12 minutes and Klay Thompson missed the better part of two games. Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6, as Toronto took home the title and closed the books on the Warriors' possible three-peat.
Dub Nation isn't alone. The entire basketball world is missing out on Playoff Steph right now.