Warriors

Warriors

LOS ANGELES -- Since Steph Curry entered the league in 2009, LeBron James has been a mainstay in the postseason. 

Over the last eight years, as a member of the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron has been to eight straight NBA Finals -- playing Curry's Warriors in each of the last four. 

Now, as a member of the Lakers, James will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season, a reality Curry is still reconciling. 

"It's different, but what is it? [Eight] straight Finals he went to?" Curry said at the Warriors' shootaround at Staples Center before Thursday's matchup against the Lakers. "I'm sure it's a different experience for him, for better or worse."

Still, Curry says he believes James and the Lakers will "regroup" next season. 

"Obviously the rest of the league continues to go, a lot of talent, a lot of great storylines, people chasing championships," Curry said. "But he's had an amazing run. Pretty sure he'll be able to reset for next year and regroup. It's just different [with James not in the postseason]."

Curry won't face James on Thursday night, as the superstar forward has been shut down for the season with a groin injury. Following a promising 20-14 start, injuries to guards Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and James -- plus the failed attempt to trade for New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis -- resulted in a downward spiral for the team.

 

Since that 20-14 high-water mark, the Lakers have gone 15-33, including 7-14 since the All-Star break.

The injuries, coupled with the bad stretch, has brought up the question of coach Luke Walton's job security. On Thursday, both Curry and Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered support to the former Warriors assistant coach. 

"All the injuries they had and expectations coming in with obviously LeBron James joining your team, it goes through the roof," Curry said. "But everything is a process. This league is tough, man. It's hard to win basketball games no matter who you have on your team. I think that the way he's kept his presence on the sidelines, from watching games and watching his body language on the side, the way that they might not be winning games right now but the team is playing hard. ... I'm sure they appreciate his consistency."

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"Luke is born for this job," Kerr added. "Not only his basketball mind. which is top notch, the guy has as good of feel for the game as anybody I've ever been around. His temperament is perfect for this job and this team."

"Honestly wish the best for him in terms of the future because who knows what will happen," Curry said. "But he's a great coach. Anybody would be lucky to have him leading the team."