SAN FRANCISCO — Steph Curry sprained his left foot while fighting Marcus Smart for a ball in Wednesday’s loss to Boston.
The good news: Reports suggest that whatever position the Warriors find themselves in on April 16, Curry is likely to make a timely return to the playoffs.
The bad news: The Warriors have to make up for his absence in the remaining 12 games of the regular season. The Warriors have a five-city road trip, four back-to-backs, and four games against top teams in the Heat, Grizzlies, Suns, and Jazz in those 12 games.
The Warriors have a best team offensive rating of 114.1 with Curry on the court and a worst team offensive rating of 103.7 when he is off the court. To maintain their No. 3 position in the Western Conference, some Warriors need to move up.
Poole followed a February slump with a searing March – boding well for the Warriors heading into these final games and playoffs. In nine games this month, Poole is shooting 50 percent from 3 and 56 percent from the field.
When Poole, Curry and Klay Thompson share the floor, they are the best three-player offensive combination the Warriors have had all year with a 121.7 offensive rating in 19 games. The trio challenged opposing defenses with a variety of looks from Curry and Poole’s playmaking, deft moves to the rim and shooting along with Thompson’s hot hand.
Poole has shown he can carry the offense when called upon to do so. After Curry left Wednesday’s game, Poole went off for a 19-point third quarter and finished the game with 29 points and six 3-pointers against Boston’s top defense. He fearlessly goes to the edge and can create for others.
As has been the norm in previous seasons, Thompson has run hot and cold since his much-anticipated Jan. 9 return from 3-point country. Some nights he can’t buy a 3-point spot; at others, his shooting leads Golden State to victories.
Take Thompson’s recent five-game stretch, in which he had four games with less than 40 percent shooting to score 18-20, but came away against defending champion Bucks by 38 in eight 3-pointers in a win on Saturday night.
Thompson had other big scoring nights, including a 33-point game against the Lakers and a seven 3-point game against the Kings. Even after a hiatus of more than two years, Thompson carries the game-changing gene. If he can activate it more easily, the warriors can make up for a lot of attack in Curry’s absence.
Wiggins missed the last two games with illness but before that he struggled.
Prior to a 21-point game against the Bucks, Wiggins hadn’t scored more than 20 points in a game since Jan. 31. His 3-point percentage has taken a significant dip over this span – he’s shooting 35% of 3 in his last 15 games, compared to 42% in his previous 47 games.
The Warriors need Wiggins to return to the catch-and-shoot form that earned him an All-Star nod for a successful playoff run in Curry’s absence and beyond.
The Warriors lost a point guard so expect Chiozza, 26, to get more minutes off the bench if Poole isn’t on the ground to make up for Curry’s lost minutes.
Chiozza might not be able to match Curry’s shot numbers, but a player who fell off the rotation has shown good passing instinct and is good at reading the ground.
https://www.thereporter.com/2022/03/18/four-warriors-who-will-need-to-step-up-in-steph-currys-absence/ 4 Warriors That Must Stand Up – Klay, Poole & More