Steph Curry injury prompts Warriors' familiar routine to resurface

Steph Curry injury prompts Warriors' familiar routine to resurface

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.

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.

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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.

NBA rumors: Draymond Green flew to New York, planned to visit Kevin Durant

NBA rumors: Draymond Green flew to New York, planned to visit Kevin Durant

It sounds like Draymond Green might have spent Father's Day in New York.

The Warriors forward flew from San Francisco to the Big Apple this weekend and had plans to visit with Kevin Durant, an NBA source told Marc Berman of the New York Post.

“It’s his friend,’’ the source told The Post. “KD doesn’t have to be recruited by Draymond after being there three years.’’

Last Wednesday, Durant underwent surgery on his ruptured right Achilles tendon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O'Malley, who also performed the bone graft surgery on the two-time NBA Finals MVP's right foot back in March 2015. 

Despite their highly publicized verbal confrontation back in mid-November, KD and Draymond remain close and will still be friends even if they are not teammates next season.

Durant will become an unrestricted free agent in less than two weeks and can negotiate with other teams (including the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets) starting at 3 p.m. PT on Sunday, June 30.

[RELATEDReport: Rockets owner expresses regret over CP3's contract]

Draymond is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020 but is eligible to sign an extension (worth a maximum of about $100 million over four seasons) with the Warriors this summer.

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NBA rumors: Rockets owner expresses regret over Chris Paul's contract

NBA rumors: Rockets owner expresses regret over Chris Paul's contract

On May 10, the Houston Rockets' season came to an end with a home loss to the Warriors in Game 6 of the second round of the NBA playoffs.

Since then, things have seemed to get progressively worse.

And on Monday morning, ESPN's Tim MacMahon wrote a feature entitled: " 'There's too much damn turmoil': An unsettling vibe surrounds these Rockets."

It lays out everything that is going on behind the scenes -- some of which has previously been reported and some of which was just brought to light.

Here's one new piece of information involving guard Chris Paul and owner Tilman Fertitta:

Houston was pushed close to the tax limit last summer by re-signing Paul to a four-year, $160 million max deal and Capela to a relative bargain contract worth $80 million plus incentives over five years. (Fertitta has grumbled about Paul's contract, expressing regret to Rockets staffers and even in front of rival executives, according to league sources.)

It's no wonder CP3 reportedly is on the trade block. But it's not going to make it any easier to ship the 34-year old out of town if your owner is acknowledging that the contract will be very difficult to trade.

Paul has three more seasons remaining on his deal:

-2019-20 = $38,506,482
-2020-21 = $41,358,814
-2021-22 = $44,211,146 (player option that will assuredly be exercised)

Good luck with that one, general manager Daryl Morey.

Here's one other nugget as it relates to Paul, but this time it involves superstar James Harden:

Paul pushed for more plays and sets in the Houston offense, more screening and deception, despite Harden being in the process of putting together a historically dominant individual offensive season.

"Chris wants to coach James," says a source familiar with the stars' dynamic. "James looks at him like, 'You can't even beat your man. Just shut up and watch me.'"

This is ...

... not good.

With Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson injured and entering unrestricted free agency, it will be very interesting to see what approach Houston takes this summer.

[RELATEDBoogie thanks Dubs fans, sends message about next season]

Will the Rockets blow things up or go all in one more time?

You should probably bet on the latter.

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