Steph Curry will be fine, as Chris Mullin knows from his own experience

Steph Curry will be fine, as Chris Mullin knows from his own experience

It's bad. Really bad. But it could have been worse.

That essentially was Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin's assessment of Steph Curry's broken left hand, which occurred Wednesday night during the Warriors' 11-point home loss to the Suns.

Mullin underwent three separate hand surgeries over the course of his 16-year NBA career, so he spoke from experience in delivering that take on NBC Sports Bay Area's "Warriors Postgame Live."

"The first thing when Steph goes down, you worry about his ankles and his knee, so on the positive side, it's his hand," Mullin said.

While we currently don't know the full extent of Curry's injury, Mullin believes it won't keep the two-time NBA MVP away from the team.

"I had three hand surgeries over the course of my career," Mullin said. "The downtime was six to eight weeks, but during that time, the one thing I was able to do was train myself cardiovascular-wise, do some basketball work. So, physically I was able to get it done, and mentally, you stay engaged a little more. If you're laid up with a bad leg, you can do nothing. You feel totally detached.

"So, depending on the timeline, the one thing Steph will be able to do is maintain his body condition, his fitness, and then stay engaged with the team, be a leader as he has been, be connected to the team. But physically, he'll be fine. We're talking about the greatest shooter of all time, and as I said earlier, the best dexterity and hand-eye coordination I've ever seen in an athlete."

Mullin predicts Curry will be as good as new when he returns, and believes the Warriors have the right leadership in place to get through what now will be an even more trying season.

"So, he'll be fine when he recovers," Mullin said. "The big part is the rest of the team, how they manage this thing emotionally, right, getting over it, and then getting out there and competing.

"In my mind, not a better basketball coach than Steve Kerr to do this, but more importantly, not a better person to deal with this adversity and get these guys through it."

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Things are plenty bleak for the Warriors right now. But as Mullin correctly points out, they could be bleaker.

Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

Warriors’ still-mounting injuries a big blow to young players’ development

SAN FRANCISCO -- In the waning moments of the Warriors' latest loss Friday night, their bench resembled the front row of a fashion show more than a functioning NBA roster.

Toward the end of the bench, All-Star guard Stephen Curry sat in a black suit jacket, covering a massive cast protecting his broken left hand. To Curry's left, center Kevon Looney sat in a gray suit, his immediate future in peril as he continues to seek answers about an injured hamstring.

That type of visual has become commonplace over the last month.

Over that stretch, 11 Warriors players have been sidelined with injuries, crippling a roster that seemed armed with an outside shot of making the playoffs on opening night just three weeks ago.

The latest blow came Saturday morning, when an MRI confirmed that D'Angelo Russell had suffered a sprained thumb, sidelining him for at least two weeks. Over his previous six games, the guard had averaged 29.7 points on 48 percent shooting from the field, including a 52-point, nine-rebound performance against Minnesota, so his absence will be felt.

That's because the Warriors are in roster transition, marked by their youthful core.

When Jordan Poole and Eric Paschall were drafted in June, the expectation was that the rookies would be brought along slowly, learning behind Golden State's battered All-Star cast. The myriad injuries changed that, though, forcing both into more minutes than initially anticipated.

While Paschall has flourished in that spot (15.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 30.8 minutes per game), Poole has struggled. Since Curry's injury in the fourth game of the season, Poole has shot 29 percent from the field, and he has hit just five of his last 28 shots over his last two contests.

The trickle-down effect started on the eve of training camp, when Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced that center Willie Cauley-Stein would miss most of October with a foot strain. Two days later, rookie Alen Smailagic rolled his ankle and Looney strained his hamstring in the same controlled scrimmage.

Last month, Curry broke his hand, sidelining the guard until at least February. Two nights later, forward Draymond Green tore a ligament in his left index finger. On Monday, two-way guard Damion Lee fractured his hand.

Amid all those injuries, Warriors coach Steve Kerr trotted out his ninth starting lineup of the season Friday, with two-way guard Ky Bowman at the point. For a moment, it worked.

Midway through the third quarter, Bowman intercepted a pass, ran cross court and dunked over Grant Williams, cutting the Celtics' lead to three. Two minutes later, Alec Burk stripped Boston guard Brandon Wanamaker, setting up a fast-break layup that gave Golden State a brief 82-80 lead before the Celtics rallied and held on in the fourth quarter.

The Warriors' current reality is much different than their immediate past. After winning 78 percent of their games over five years, they now find themselves with a roster that lost Kevin Durant to free agency, while Curry and Klay Thompson's rehabs are expected to last until at least February. Their 2-11 record is the NBA's worst.

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Minutes after the final buzzer Friday, there were reminders of potential hopes lost. Curry's hand swelled out of his cast as he walked near a team official. In the locker room, Paschall sported an ice pack on his right hand, and Poole reconciled an ankle injury that he said wouldn't affect him.

As the Warriors packed for another road trip, potentially with just eight healthy bodies for the foreseeable future, another reminder that the team's development is coming at a hefty price was evident.

Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain


Warriors' D'Angelo Russell out at least two weeks with right thumb sprain

Add another one to the list.

After leaving Friday night’s loss to the Celtics with a thumb injury, an MRI has confirmed a right thumb sprain for All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell.

Russell will not travel with the team on the upcoming four-game road trip and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Golden State’s already lengthy injury report adds another name, as the team now stands with just nine healthy players as the team embarks for New Orleans on Saturday to kick off the trip.