If anyone doubted that Stephen Curry was the MVP, the Golden State Warriors’ MVP at the very least, all that is needed is to see what fate has befallen Golden State with Curry absent from the lineup.
Curry has been out for six games and the Warriors have lost the last three without him. They have lost four of the games in the six-game slide and Curry is gone at the worst possible time.
He has missed games with key Western Conference rivals, not simply teams from the Conference, but teams that have solid claims to wresting away the Conference dominance the Warriors have considered theirs in the fashion New Zealand’s All Blacks consider rugby to be theirs.
Losses to the San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets might not seem cause for panic at the moment, but those losses could prove haunting when the season ends and the playoffs begin, when home court advantage is a key factor.
It is not as though the Warriors have folded in Curry’s absence. They are not being blown out, as the recent loss to San Antonio by the score of 104 – 92 demonstrates, but a 12-point loss is easily viewed as having the opposite result with Curry in action.
After 18 games, the Warriors have a 12 – 6 record and has seen them surrender the top spot in the conference to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Curry has a groin injury and Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr does not want to rush his franchise player back too soon, but groin injuries tend to linger and Kerr may be forced at some point to insert Curry to test his recovery.
Curry is the sort who, when he makes his return, will probably spark a run, six wins in a row, or 12 from 14, the sort of thing he seems to be able to switch off and on as easily as some players can Tweet their hurt feelings over being shown insufficient respect.