Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry will be out of the lineup with a left shoulder subluxation (i.e. a partial dislocation), the team announced on Thursday. While the Warriors have not released an official timeline for his return, That reports the Athletic’s Shams Charania that Curry will be sidelined for at least two weeks. Curry will not require surgery and is expected to appear in court in about a month. Charania reported during an appearance on Bally Sports.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported for the first time that Curry would miss a few weeks.
Curry vacated the Warriors’ 125–119 loss after injuring his shoulder in the third quarter. On the preceding play, Curry missed a 3-pointer and the long rebound led to a Pacers quick break. As Jalen Smith headed for the basket, Curry reached for a bargain and hurt his shoulder in the process.
Curry immediately grabbed his shoulder. He was in enough pain for the Warriors to call for a timeout, after which he went to the locker room. The team ruled him out for the rest of the game, but he still finished with 38 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters he would get an MRI on Thursday and that the team would “hope for the best.”
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The defending champion Warriors are 10th in the West and 14-15 on the season. Now they are without their franchise player, who is playing at the MVP level again. To say this is a disappointment would be a huge understatement. Golden State has scored 120.8 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the field, according to Cleaning The Glass, and has accumulated a dismal 103 per 100 in non-trash minutes without him. It has outscored opponents by 8.4 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the field, and it has surpassed 9.8 points per 100 without him, per CTG. He’s always had incredible on/off numbers, but this year’s team is particularly top-heavy — it has the worst bench in the league, in terms of total net score, and the starting lineup was dominant.
The Warriors have four games left on their road trip – Philadelphia, Toronto, New York and Brooklyn – before hosting the Memphis Grizzlies on December 25. That Christmas Day game, which has just lost much of its luster, is the start of an eight-game homestand, which will also see Charlotte, Utah, Portland, Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando and Phoenix visit Chase Center. If Curry is reevaluated in exactly two weeks, as The Athletic reported, it would be between the games in Utah and Portland.
With Curry out of the picture, guard Jordan Poole will take on more responsibility for the game and will likely remain in the starting lineup when Andrew Wiggins returns from his adductor injury. Poole has been more aggressive, productive and efficient this season as a starter than as a reserve, as evidenced by his splits per 36 minutes: 27.7 points (on 58.4 percent actual shooting), 4.9 assists, 3.7 turnovers in the basic setup ; 19.4 points (on 52.9 percent true shooting), 6.4 assists, 4.0 turnovers leaving the bench.
Curry’s absence also likely means backup guard Ty Jerome will be seeing regular minutes. Jerome has been on the fringes of Golden State’s rotation since he signed a two-way contract just before the start of the season.