Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry is expected to play in Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.
Curry’s status was up in the air after he suffered an injury late in the fourth quarter of Game 3 when Boston Celtics forward Al Horford rolled on Curry’s leg as the two dove for a loose ball.
Curry lay on the floor for a few minutes, yelling in pain, before getting up with a limp. He was still walking gingerly about an hour and a half after the game when he entered and exited the news conference room.
But on Thursday, Curry appeared to be walking just fine. The Warriors didn’t hold a team practice Thursday, instead using the day as a rest and recovery day. Only low-minute players got on-court work done.
“[I got] about 10½ hours of sleep, a couple dunks in the ice bucket and that’s about it for now,” Curry stated about what treatment he had been doing over the previous 12 hours. “Then take advantage of today and tomorrow to get completely ready for the game. Get as much recovery and healing as possible and understand how important Game 4 is. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
Curry compares the injury he suffered in Game 3 to a less severe version of the foot sprain he suffered versus the Celtics back in March, when Marcus Smart rolled on his leg in another loose-ball situation and he missed the final month of the regular season.
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“Because I went through what I went through in the regular season and coming back, I know exactly what it is and what I’ve got to deal with and the soreness, pain level and all that,” Curry said. “So once I got checked out last night, I knew I wouldn’t have to go get any extra tests just because we’ve been through this before.”
In March, it took Curry only a few steps after the play with Smart to figure out something was wrong with his foot.
“As soon as you started to take a couple of steps, you kind of know whether you can run normal, cut normal or not,” Curry said.
Because of that, not only did it take only a few steps for him to tell that he was injured Wednesday but he also could gauge whether he needed to get out of the game immediately or could continue to play. It also has given him the confidence that he will be available on Friday.
“There’s a good understanding of what it is and all that. I guess comfort knowing I’ve been through it before, but also, you would rather not have to deal with something like that at this point in the season.”
Curry’s availability is imperative to the Warriors’ success, especially in a pivotal Game 4 that will see the Warriors either tie the series up again or fall behind 3-1.
The entire Golden State organization knows that. And that’s why as soon as Curry could tell his injury wasn’t severe, he declared himself available.
“I’m going to play,” he said definitely. “That’s all I know right now.”
In addition to a healthy Curry, the Warriors are going to need a better showing from forward Draymond Green, who described his own a Game 3 performance as “soft,” adding that he played “like s—.”
“I have to be more aggressive on both sides of the ball,” Green said. “… We are a much better team when I’m aggressive offensively, so I have to be that for this team. I’ve always prided myself on giving the team what it needs in order to win.”
Green, who concluded with just 2 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes of play, was the focal point of the Boston crowd’s ire as fans serenaded him with “F— you, Draymond!”
Green said on his podcast that his family was affected by the chants.
“It’s just about me finding that balance and being Draymond Green,” he said. “I know how to be him better than anyone else. I know how to be him better than anyone else can be him. So I just got to be myself.”
Klay Thompson said he expects Green to lead the way again, as he did in Game 2, when he was flying around and making his presence felt from tipoff.
“Draymond is here for a reason,” Thompson said. “We would not be the Warriors without Draymond. He is one of the best players I’ve ever played with. He is one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with. All of us are human. We’re not immune to a bad night or two.”
“But I know one thing for sure is that we respond like champions. I know Draymond will come out and play his typical brand of ball that’s very physical, fast-paced, talking trash and just being the Money Green that the Dub Nation loves so much and has brought us to heights that the franchise has never seen before.”
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