Why Steph Curry injury is 'survivable' for Warriors, Zach Lowe believes


Why Lowe believes Steph's injury is 'survivable' for Dubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Just when it seemed like the Warriors found their groove again, Steph Curry sustained a lower left injury that will sideline him for multiple weeks.

The Warriors will, for the second time this season, have to move forward without their star guard in the rotation for an unknown amount of time. The specifics regarding a timetable for his return have not been disclosed.

However, in contrast to what Dub Nation thinks, ESPN's Zach Lowe and Brian Windhorst don't believe the Warriors should hit the panic button just yet. Lowe said that based on what he's heard, he's preparing for Curry to miss about a month of action.

"So if he misses a month, that's about 12 to 13 games," Lowe said on "The Lowe Podcast" on Monday. "We did this last time and I cautioned people against it, there's always this panic about, 'Oh my god, they're doomed! Look where they are in the standings, they're going to fall.' And then you wake up and you're like, 'Oh, they went 5-5 without Steph Curry.'

"They're 7-8 for the season without Steph Curry. [Andrew] Wiggins missed a bunch of those games, too. He's back, but he still doesn't look like Wiggins yet. But he's fine. Their schedule over those 12 to 13 games is pretty easy, not pretty easy, it's just middling. In fact, weirdly, seven of those 12 games are against either the [Los Angeles] Lakers, the [Los Angeles] Clippers or the [Portland Trail] Blazers, who are all in their sort of stratosphere."

A league source told NBC Sports Bay Area that the Warriors are "hoping" Curry can return shortly after the NBA All-Star break ends on Feb. 23.

That means the Warriors can expect to play, at the very least, the next five games without the reigning NBA Finals MVP. Golden State's next five games consist of three home games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lakers and Washington Wizards, and two road games in Portland and Los Angeles against the Clippers.

Currently, the Warriors are one game over .500 and sit in eighth place in the wobbling West with a 27-26 record. They don't need to win every single game in this stretch without Curry, but posting a winning record over that span would be beneficial for when he does return.

"If they go 3-9, that's going to be a problem," Lowe said. "They shouldn't go 3-9 based on how they've played without Curry …  It's unlikely that they're going to go 10-1 in their next 11 games. I think it's survivable for them, it doesn't really change my long-term outlook for their season.

"It's going to be a low-ish playoff seed for them, if they get into the playoffs or the play-in. That's where I am with the Warriors."

To Windhorst, he believes this challenge could be good for the team.

RELATED: Simmons explains why trading Kuminga would 'haunt' Warriors

Of course, losing a player for any amount of time to injury isn't ideal, no matter who it is, but it's how players and teams respond that is more telling.

"I think that, if anything, this might actually [push] the Warriors into actually trying and showing the intensity that I know exists," Windhorst said. "The one thing I keep saying about this team is a championship team is still in there. I see the flashes. So it's possible that there could be a 'good,' … and I suspect this will force them to do that."

If that still doesn't show you how little Lowe and Windhorst are concerned, not even the newest, hottest trade in the NBA right now will get Lowe to look another way.

"Put it this way, fully healthy Warriors versus a fully healthy [Dallas] Mavericks in a playoff series, I don't care who has home-court advantage, I'm taking the Warriors," Lowe said.

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