Ranked 3rd in the Western Conference, and trailing only the Grizzlies and the Suns, the Golden State Warriors have been bringing their best game to the hardwood most season long.
What happened during Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics, however, could mean the situation taking a downward turn for the team after Stephen Curry sprained a ligament in his left foot in a collision with Marcus Smart. While scans revealed no fracture, Curry will likely only return in time for the Playoffs.
This leaves the Warriors wide open for the attack, including by bottom-rankers the Orlando Magic, who they’ll be up against at Amway Center on March 23.
Challenges Without Curry
Even though a sprained ligament isn’t even near the worst possible outcome for Curry and the team, losing the star marks a notable setback. With only 12 games remaining of the regular season for the Warriors, they would have been eager to use the remaining weeks to solidify a definite rhythm going into the Playoffs.
This rhythm revolves mainly around Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. Since Green only recently returned after two months away, and Thompson a player who only made his debut with the team in January, Curry has played only 11 minutes alongside both of them this season.
The real challenge is that everything done on offense is about Curry, and revolves around mainly him. And that whatever Curry does, is supported by Thompson and Green. And while the team can be expected to play the same style even without Curry, the structure on the offense won’t work in the same way.
Silver Lining For The Magic
For the Magic, the season hasn’t exactly panned out in the way they would have wanted to.
But it should also be said that it hasn’t all been bad news all the way. And a definite silver lining, albeit late in their story, has been the addition of Markelle Fultz.
After 14 months in recovery time following a torn ACL, Fultz’s return against the Indiana Pacers a couple of weeks ago had been nothing short of astounding. More than his 10 points and 6 assists helping his team to a phenomenal win, his mere presence seemed to lift the spirits not only of his teammates, but also of the fans.
The message is clear: Fultz has hit the ground running, and plans on keeping up his momentum.
Fultz has inspired something in the team, and it’s something that will likely come more prominently to the fore next season and beyond.