Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors are nursing ankle injuries, and could be out in Game 1 against the Houston Rockets.
In basketball, talent and chemistry are probably the two things that have the biggest impact on a team’s success, but health is also just as important.
In last year’s Western Conference Finals, the Rockets weren’t at full strength. Luc Mbah a Moute was still recovering from his second separated shoulder injury of the season, and as a result had very little impact on the last Rockets-Warriors playoff battle, scoring just five points total in the series.
Of course, Chris Paul also suffered a hamstring injury in Game 5 of that series, which forced him to miss Game 6 and Game 7. After taking a 3-2 series lead, Houston lost both of their final two games against Golden State, despite holding a double digit lead in both of those losses.
This year, its the Warriors that could be without two of their main players. According to ESPN’s Nick Friedell, both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are questionable for Game 1 on Sunday against Houston after suffering sprained ankles in Los Angeles on Friday. According to The Athletic, Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, said Thompson had a “significant” ankle sprain.
Obviously, losing both Curry and Thompson for Game 1 would be a significant blow for Golden State. Steph Curry is arguably the best shooter this game has ever seen, and he really is the engine that makes Golden State’s offense run. During the regular season, Curry had the highest net rating on the Warriors, and Golden State scored 9.1 points per 100 possessions more when Curry was on the floor. Thompson is also one of the best shooters in the league, and he is Golden State’s primary defender on James Harden, and he usually gets a lot time defending Chris Paul as well.
With that being said, I’d be completely shocked not to see both Curry and Thompson on the floor on Sunday. Houston is by far the biggest threat to the Warriors in the west, and if Curry and Thompson are healthy enough to play, they will.
Clearly, neither Curry or Thompson will be 100 percent on Sunday and the Rockets will try to exploit them on offense, especially Curry. Expect Houston to be very physical from the opening tip with both players to see how those sore ankles are feeling. With the Rockets having an advantage in both rest and health, they have a really good chance at walking out of Game 1 with a win.