The Golden State Warriors have managed just fine without reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry during the playoffs while he's been recovering from a sprained right MCL he suffered in Game 4 of Golden State's opening-round series against the Houston Rockets. However, his return may be imminent.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke about Curry's status before Tuesday's Game 2 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Portland Trail Blazers, hinting the 28-year-old is more or less on schedule.
"I know everybody wants to know is it going to be Saturday, is it going to be Monday?" said Myers on 95.7 The Game of Curry's return to action (via Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group). "It's in that range, but it's hard to say. But those games [3 and 4] are so close together."
Curry's projected timetable to return was two weeks, per Leung.
"I don't know that it'll be before [then]," Myers said, per Leung. "It might be after."
There's little reason for the defending NBA champions to press Curry back into duty. They have a great chance to go up 2-0 in the Portland series at home on Tuesday at Oracle Arena, where they lost only twice during the regular season.
Myers seemed to recognize that, implying he wants to balance deploying Curry when the time is right but not jeopardize his status for the remainder of the postseason, per Leung:
He's got to play a little bit of 3-on-3 or 5-on-5. He hasn't done any of that stuff yet, and I just think until you are actually trending towards playing basketball, it's hard to speculate as to what the date will be. If he's able to do that before Saturday, then you see where you're at.
But you don't really know until you start pushing the envelope as far as basketball activities, and he's not doing that stuff yet. Can that stuff be done in the next few days? I suppose.
Guy wants to play. ... He's doing everything he can to play. We've got good medical people. We're going to have to be smart. This guy is so important, you don't throw him out there and risk anything.
The Warriors appear to be in good hands without Curry for the time being, as shooting guard Klay Thompson and dynamic forward Draymond Green have picked up the slack in the superstar's absence.
En route to closing out the Rockets and defeating the Blazers in the semifinals opener, Thompson became the first player in NBA history to make seven three-pointers in three straight playoff games, per NBA.com/stats. Green posted a triple-double in Sunday's win over Portland with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Veteran floor general Shaun Livingston has filled in well for Curry and presents a lengthier alternative on the perimeter, which helps Golden State's team defense.
Although Curry averaged 30.1 points per contest during the 2015-16 campaign, his squad is likely talented enough to advance at least to the conference finals without him. Like Myers' comments reflect, the Warriors will have to play it by ear based on their results, starting with whether they win Game 2 on Tuesday.