On a small scale, the Warriors are trying to get through this first round of the NBA playoffs while managing Curry’s minutes. The exceptional 34-year-old tore a ligament in his left foot on March 16 and was out of action until the start of the round of 16. At the moment, he usually leaves the bench in the middle of the room and tries to exert influence, familiarize himself with his teammates for the next possible rounds – and not get hurt again.
It worked: at halftime the Warriors led by 57:51, in the end they won by 126:106. Denvers center Nikola Jokic was so upset that he allowed himself to be dragged into a debate with the referee and was sent off. Golden State are now leading 2-0 in the best-of-seven series ahead of the trip to the Denver Nuggets, the next game being on Friday. It works in San Francisco.
Curry scored 34 points against Denver in the second game
Curry scored 34 points in just 23 minutes on the court, after which he said: “It works very well in this constellation – of course also because my teammates are helping very well at the moment.” Specifically, he was referring to replacement Jordan Poole, who scored 30 points in the first playoff game of his career and then added 29 points in the second game.
On a large scale, the Warriors dare to experiment similar to a small one: they want to win the title this season, but at the same time build a roster that can also compete for the championship in the future. Completely crazy, many say, but that’s what they’re used to with Californians: ten years ago, most of them also said it was completely crazy to have this curry thrown beyond the three-point line so often and even to the center line at times. .
Curry changed this sport permanently; along with the friendly pitcher Klay Thompson, who in the meantime returns to play after unlucky with an extension injury to Holger Badstuber and this time contributed 21 points. Now the Warriors want to question and change the structures of the NBA once again.
The Greatest Bargain in NBA History
It wasn’t all strategy at Golden State, of course, as with all sports, it takes coincidence – or even, well, bad luck. Managers Larry Riley (until 2012, now with the Atlanta Hawks) and Bob Myers brought in talents Curry and Thompson, long resisting mega transfers and mega contracts. It helped that Curry signed a $10 million a year contract in 2012 after recovering from an injury. Which was reasonable at the time. From today’s perspective, however, this is considered the biggest bargain in NBA history because Golden State managed to keep the likes of Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green and then bring in Kevin Durant. The result: five finals in five years, three titles. Curry’s injury was the domino of success at the time and injuries are once again at the forefront of planning.
Asked club boss Myers, after two seasons without playoffs, whether he still trusts aging celebrities or wants to build a new roster, he responded with a counter-question: why not both? Curry, 34, Thompson, 32, Green, 32, and Iguodala, 38, are still the backbone of the team. But there are also players like Poole, 22, who is doing well this season.
Only: The Warriors have the most expensive roster in NBA history, with a salary of $346 million. If they give Poole in the summer what he can ask for after his performance jump, about $100 million over four years, costs are likely to explode — and so other players would have to go. Like I said: It sounds crazy what the Warriors are doing. But it could work.
Against a dangerous and vicious opponent, the team has done well in the playoffs so far because Coach Kerr can look at the stadium clock and then the bench when things aren’t going well. That’s where the best pitcher in the league stands: Steph Curry. Only opponents need to worry about these warriors.