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Warriors News: Stephen Curry Expected to Play in Playoffs Despite Ankle Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 09: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after falling down during the first half against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on April 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes guard Stephen Curry will be ready for Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.

According to Mark Medina of the Mercury News, Kerr plans to sit Curry for Golden State's regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday before getting him back in the lineup for the postseason.

Curry left Tuesday's 112-103 win over the New Orleans Pelicans with what was classified as a "mild foot sprain." Per the Associated Press, Kerr said after the game that Curry "tweaked it" and suggested that keeping him out for the rest of the game was a precaution.

The injury occurred when Curry appeared to roll his ankle while dribbling and making a cut, which led to him taking a seat during a game that both Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson sat out with the Dubs having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Curry missed significant time with ankle and knee injuries last season, appearing in just 51 regular-season games. He also missed Golden State's entire first-round playoff series. A knee ailment caused Curry to miss time during the 2016 playoffs as well.

Compared to last season, Curry has been much healthier in 2018-19, appearing in 69 games. He has also enjoyed another big statistical year with averages of 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.

Golden State would likely be able to get through a first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs or Los Angeles Clippers without Curry, but anything beyond that would be iffy. The Warriors have just 57 wins with one game remaining, which means they will finish with their lowest total since 2013-14 if they don't win the regular-season finale.

The Warriors have also been in a battle with the Denver Nuggets for much of the season for the No. 1 seed, while the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers are coming on late.

There is seemingly more competition from top to bottom in the Western Conference playoffs than there has been in previous years, which is why it is key for Kerr to have his full allotment of weapons during his pursuit of a third consecutive NBA title and fourth in five years.

If Curry is ready to go for the playoffs as Kerr expects, the Warriors figure to be heavy favorites to reach the Finals once again.

Golden State needs to have a sense of urgency to win another championship this season since one or both of Durant and Thompson could leave as free agents during the offseason, which would potentially knock the team from its perch.

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