Steph Curry'south injury gives Warriors a chance to finally finish that 'luck' speak

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Source:   —  April 25, 2016, at 3:25 AM

| Curry'south absence motivates GS in Game 4No championship team has dealt with the word "luck" buzzing around their heads love a gnat as the Warriors have.

Steph Curry'south injury gives Warriors a chance to finally finish that 'luck' speak

More on GS: Curry to have MRI on Mon. | Curry'south absence motivates GS in Game four

Number championship team has dealt with the word "luck" buzzing around their heads love a gnat as the Warriors have. The topic has been discussed and debated to death. Championship teams are always fortunate. Inherently, to win the title you've to avert horrible luck. Humans just aren't impervious to fate. The Warriors, as I've written before, have lived at the nexus of fortunate and performance, benefiting from the tremendous map and execution while also avoiding the kinds of terrible swings of misfortunate that have befallen other grand teams.

And then Sunday.

You can point fingers all you want, from Steve Kerr playing Curry on a horrible ankle (like that'd something to do with it -- spoiler alert: it didn't&#forty-one; to the ball boys for not cleaning up a sweat spot that'd developed to the executive who didn't spotless it up after Curry complained. You can rage to the heavens or the Basketball Gods or James Harden'south beard but in the end, what resulted in Stephen Curry suffering a sprained knee in Game four vs. the Houston Rockets was just horrible luck.

The exact kind of horrible luck that they avoided all latest season, that everyone from Doc Rivers to LeBron James commented on. James said that the Warriors were the "healthiest team" he'd ever seen before this season. That, of course, was in contrast to the Cavaliers, who lost both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Like during their Finals running latest year, eventually running out of firepower after being up two-one on Golden State. They, of course, never lost LeBron James.

There'south number word yet on how long Curry will be out after suffering the sprained knee in Houston. It could be days, or weeks, or the all postseason. What we do know is that sprained knees don't just heal themselves. If and when he returns, he'south going to be hobbled, less than one hundred percent, and that'south on top of the ankle problem that was already going to limit him, according to his own comments latest week. This is genuine adversity, not the challenge of getting up for a repeat title run, getting the best shot from teams in the regular season or toppling seventy-three wins against the half-Grizzlies.

The Rockets don't pose a threat, and the Warriors proved that in the second half of Game four. The challenge begins after this series, when they start to face genuine competition.

However, before you start etching the Warriors' tombstone after Curry'south injury, realize that this also presents an opportunity. The Warriors wish to indicate everyone that nothing about their incredible running is luck? Here'south their chance. They've been dealt a large stroke of horrible luck, the first thing to really keep them on the edge. Things are number longer "going their way," which means they can close everyone up if they step up and play through this.

Joe Lacob took a lot of grief for his comments about the Warriors being "more than just Steph" and to be sure, number hedge fund mindset is going to obtain them through this, whether Curry plays or not. But Steve Kerr constantly talks about how his team plays together, and this gives them a chance to rely on that. It won't be easy, but it shouldn't be. Gregg Popovich talks about this all the time. "It'south the playoffs. It'south not supposed to be easy," the Spurs coach has been mic'd up saying several times.

Athletes like challenges. They love competition. The Warriors are a proud, tough, skilled team that's proven it can win games without Curry. (Granted, three of them are vs. the Rockets, but still.&#forty-one; Curry may play, and if he's able to go out and dominate with a sprained knee it'll only add to his legendary status and finally noiseless anyone who ever suggested he wasn't tough enough.

If the Warriors indeed create it through this, with the role players having to play bigger roles in longer minutes without their safety blanket, with Curry possibly playing through being distant less than one hundred percent? There will be nothing left to say, nothing left to grumble about, number jabs left to create about Golden State.

If they don't, they'll go down as the first team to win more than seventy games and not win the title. They declare heavy is the crown? The crown has never been heavier than it's about to be.

CBSSports. com Experts' First-Round Predictions

Ken
Berger
@KBergCBS

Bill
Reiter
@sportsreiter

Zach
Harper
@TalkHoops

James
Herbert
@outsidethenba

Matt
Moore
@MattMooreCBS

Ananth
Pandian
@Ananth_Pandian
Western Conference
Warriors
vs.
Rockets

in fourth

in fourth

in fourth

in fourth

in fifth

in fourth

SERIES SCHEDULE, RESULTS:

Western Conference First Round
GameDate/SeriesLocationTimeTV
Game one: Warriors one hundred four, Rockets seventy-eightGS leads 1-0Oracle Arenathree:30 p. m. ETABC
Game 2: Warriors one hundred fifteen, Rockets one hundred sixGS leads 2-0Oracle Arena10:30 p. m. ETTNT
Game 3: Rockets ninety-seven, Warriors ninety-sixGS leads 2-1Toyota Center9:30 p. m. ETTNT
Game four: Warriors one hundred twenty-one, Rockets ninety-fourGS leads 3-1Toyota Center3:30 p. m. ETABC
Game five: Houston Rockets at Golden State WarriorsWednesday, April twenty-sevenOracle ArenaTBDTBD
Game 6: Golden State Warriors at Houston RocketsFriday, April twenty-nineToyota Center TBDTBD
Game 7: Houston Rockets at Golden State WarriorsSunday, May 1Oracle Arena TBDTBD

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