The Golden State Warriors dominated Game 1 of their second-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans, treating their home fans to a 123-101 victory.
They did so without the help of two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, who missed his 15th game in a row due to a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee.
Despite his absence, the Warriors rolled through their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs in five games and proved that they might not need him to come out victorious against the Pelicans in this round.
But, much to the dismay of New Orleans, Curry is likely to step back on the court very soon.
And he won’t be on a minutes restriction, either.
On Monday, the Golden State Warriors officially listed Curry as probable for Game 2 on Tuesday.
"I feel like he's in a pretty good place to come back right now," coach Steve Kerr said, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.
Although he won’t have an exact minutes limit to stay under, Kerr indicated that he will not demand an insane workload from Curry in his first game back.
"He'll want to get his legs underneath him,'' Kerr noted. "So we'll try to find that balance between being cautious and letting him go a little bit.”
Interestingly, Curry revealed that he probably could have played in Game 1. "If it were up to me, I would have played for about 20 minutes tonight," Curry told ESPN after the win. "The plan is to return Tuesday, but ultimately it's up to the training staff. I feel good.”
Curry averaged 26.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.1 assists through 51 regular-season games this year. He continued his efficient shooting ways, knocking down 49.5 percent of his shots overall, including 42.3 percent from beyond the three-point line. Although Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have carried the team through their first six playoff games, the Warriors will undoubtedly become a lot more dangerous upon Curry’s return.
"I expect him to be who he is,'' Kevin Durant said after Monday’s practice. "I'm not saying it's guaranteed to happen. But he puts in the work and prepares himself right when he's put in that position, so when he comes out and he plays well it's not a surprise to me at all.’'
Listen HERE to the first episode of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin.
Enjoy, and please subscribe for all future episodes.News Now - Sport News