Since the Golden State Warriors became the first team in NBA history to go a perfect 12-0 through their first three playoff series, it is presumed that the team is clicking on all cylinders now that Kevin Durant is back to full health in advance of the Finals.
However, former two-time MVP Stephen Curry is dealing with a minor injury that no one is talking about.
Starting in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, Curry was forced to wear a sleeve on his dominant right arm as a result of a flare up of the bursitis that he sometimes experiences, according to Jimmy Durkin of The Mercury News.
Despite a nine-day layoff in between the series, Durkin reported that Curry said that he will probably continue to wear the sleeve in Game 1 on Thursday.
“It’s just a little bit of swelling,” Curry said of the ailment, “but has nothing to do with my performance. It doesn’t hurt or anything like that. So I don’t really think about it much. It’s just trying to control that. So we’ll see. It worked pretty well in Game 4 of last series.”
It’s worth noting that the sleeve had no impact on his performance in Game 4. He ended up scoring 36 points and was dominant on the offensive end in the 129-115 victory.
When asked whether or not the sleeve affects his shot, Curry responded, “If it did, I would not be wearing it.”
In 79 games played during the regular season, Curry averaged 25.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists over 33.4 minutes per game. This postseason, he has quietly ramped up his scoring output to 28.6 points per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 43.1 percent from three. He also has added 5.5 boards and 5.6 dimes per contest.
Curry will use last year’s devastating Finals collapse to the Cavs as a major source of motivation in the upcoming series.
“It has been a great motivating factor,” Curry told reporters, per Martin Rogers of USA Today. “Great memories of (2015) and terrible memories of last year, but they are both lessons that you can learn going into this series."
“I don’t want to feel what I felt last year and I am going to do everything in my power to attack every game with that kind of perspective,” he added.
While he will attack from an individual perspective, he also understands that his team’s cohesion will be a key factor against LeBron James and company.
“We are who we are,” Curry explained. “The same bunch of guys that lived by that ‘just us’ mentality (last time). We are all together. We each have each other’s backs. Out there on the floor that is how we have to play. It has been that way for years and as long as I am here and most of the core (are here) that won’t change.”
He continued to explain what it takes to be crowned champions: “Knowing what it takes to win, how important every possession is. Focusing on the details, especially against the same team. Just having a better familiarity for how we are going to be successful.”
The highly-anticipated series kicks off on Thursday in what should be must-see television for the entirety of the best-of-seven battle.