How Concerned Should the Golden State Warriors Be About Stephen Curry's Ankle?

Ethan Sherwood StraussNBA Lead WriterAugust 29, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors and Chris Paul #3 and Mo Williams #25 of the Los Angeles Clippers go for a loose ball at Oracle Arena on February 20, 2012 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors should be incredibly concerned about Stephen Curry's ankle. They must soon choose on whether or not to give the point guard a long, expensive contract, so the recurring ankle sprain is of utmost focus.

This is the second consecutive offseason in which Curry's had to rehabilitate the ankle. Since 2010, the injury has visited and revisited Curry with an uneasy familiarity. Just look at the YouTube history of his ankle issues (and I assure you, it's a history that elides many of the tweaks that Steph played through or didn't collapse from). 

The re-injuries happened so often that they may have thrown off Curry's proprioception (via Golden State of Mind)—otherwise known as his body awareness on the court. His ankle may be so damaged that his body might not appropriately warn him from stepping the wrong way.

So again, this is a massive concern. But let me demonstrate a bright side; a couple reasons for the injury perhaps not being as dangerous as one might assume.

Though Stephen Curry must stay healthy to remain on the court, getting hurt does not seem to erode his game much. Curry has played well despite the injuries, tallying an improved player efficiency rating in three consecutive seasons.

Obviously, last year was a small sample size because he missed so many games. But I can report—as someone who watched all his games—that Curry played about the same as he always has. 

This is partially because Curry doesn't have all that much athleticism to lose in the first place. He rarely beats his man off the dribble and is hesitant to drive on pick-and-roll situations. It is hard for a bum ankle to slow down a player who rarely runs.

Stephen Curry also remained efficient because he has a deadly jumper. The 24-year-old has a career 44-percent track record on three-pointers, to go along with an accurate midrange game. He also has such a quick release that the shot is nearly unblockable, even though Curry is far from NBA tall. 

So, in summation, the injury is a problem because it keeps Curry from playing, but the injury isn't the kind of threat a torn ACL might be to, say, Derrick Rose or Blake Griffin. So, as long as Stephen Curry plays, he should play like Stephen Curry.