If the Warriors want to have any chance of improving as an organization, they need Stephen Curry's ankle to heal.
Stephen Curry missed 40 games in the 2011-2012 season due to multiple sprained ankles, but it seems as though the fourth-year guard has missed far more time over his career than that. No injury in the NBA seems as hopelessly perpetual as Curry's bum ankle, and it's starting to get worrisome for the Golden State team that absolutely needs their star to be healthy in order to stay competitive.
Anyone who watches the NBA knows that the Warriors have been a one-trick pony for quite a while. They light it up on offense every night, but can allow the Bobcats to score 112 points (yes, that actually happened).
It's frustrating and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight—and that's why Curry is so important.
Curry isn't a defensive specialist by any means, but he can make game-turning steals. He can shut down opposing players with his speed for stretches. But the most important thing that Curry provides is offensive efficiency.
When he played last season, Curry shot 49 percent from the field. For a player that regularly lobs three-pointers and long jumpers, that is a truly superb statistic. Curry is a dream: he's a young player with loads of offensive talent and can score in bunches while not killing a team's field goal percentage.
Of course, all of that is rendered pointless if Curry can't get on the court.
Curry recently tweaked his ankle again and Warriors fans have to be worried. It would be different if Curry had missed 40 straight games last season, but that wasn't the case. He kept coming back and kept getting injured, never finding a rhythm and failing to play more than a few games in a row. It got to the point where Curry was labeled as "injury-prone," because he had experienced these issues before last season as well.
Will Stephen Curry play 82 games this year?
It begs the question: Will Curry's ankle ever be 100 percent healed?
Probably not. Curry is a very lean and lanky 185 pounds and his style of play lends itself to ankle injuries. He makes a lot of cuts and runs in transition very quickly. If you've seen him on television, you realize that his legs are stick-thin and his physique doesn't look like it can hold up for a full 82-game season.
As someone who has had a chronic ankle problem, I can honestly say that these things don't go away. When you sprain your ankle, the swelling doesn't go down for months and it takes even longer to make that area stronger in rehab. If you have a recurring ankle issue, it's not going away for a long time.
In addition, ankle injuries aren't really something you can avoid. The only way to avoid rolling an ankle is to sit on the bench, because there's no rhyme or reason when it comes to rolling or twisting it.
Curry's ankle will probably never be 100 percent in the sense that he'll be rid of the issue forever. It may improve to the point where he can play 82 games, but it will always be a cloud hanging over him every time he touches the ball. It can be readily assumed that he'll tweak it several times more in the future, and it will probably cost him several more games.
The Warriors can only hope that Curry can avoid the injury bug, because they need him in order to develop as an organization. He is the team's big draw and with Monta Ellis now in Milwaukee, the onus is on Curry to be the top scorer.
His ankle may never be 100 percent, but the Warriors need it to be.