Following the Golden State Warriors' shocking 135-131 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday, Warriors guard Stephen Curry commented on teammate DeMarcus Cousins apparently suffering a serious injury.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors are fearful that Cousins suffered a torn quad on a non-contact play during the first quarter of Tuesday's game. Curry said:
"It's tough, for sure. You feel for him considering what he's been through this last year. This is a big stage, the playoffs. He's been looking forward to this. I don't know the extent of the injury at this point. Hope he gets back sooner than later. Just man-to-man in terms of him, what he's been through, it's tough for sure. There's no sugarcoating it at all. You hate seeing that opportunity again on this big stage taken away from him like that."
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A torn Achilles cut Cousins' 2017-18 season with the New Orleans Pelicans short, and it prevented him from making his 2018-19 debut until January.
After the game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr called Cousins' injury a "pretty significant quad injury."
Cousins had developed into a key player for the Warriors after working his way back from the Achilles injury. In 30 regular-season games, he averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 blocks, giving Golden State the interior presence it had long lacked.
Based on his strong bounce back from the injury, the 28-year-old veteran was in line to head back to the free-agent market and potentially cash in with a huge contract. That may now be in major jeopardy.
FS1's Skip Bayless touched on Cousins' recent injury misfortunes:
Even with Cousins going down early in Tuesday's game, the Warriors managed to build a lead that ballooned to as much as 31 points. That set the stage for a massive collapse, with the Clippers completing the biggest comeback in NBA playoff history to tie the series at 1-1.
With Cousins out, the Warriors still have four perennial All-Stars in Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Golden State has also reached the NBA Finals in four straight seasons and won the NBA championship in three of those years.
The Warriors don't have another player of Cousins' ilk, but Kevon Looney and veteran center Andrew Bogut are both capable of filling in at center.
Looney is the more versatile option, while Bogut is a good rebounder and shot-blocker who is also a strong passer from the interior.
Golden State's dynasty has largely come without a top-end option at center, and if the Warriors are going to win their fourth title in five years and third in a row, it is likely that they will have to go back to that formula.