Perhaps the NBA’s most dominant team over the past decade and the five-time defending Western Conference champions currently sit in the basement of the NBA.
Despite a 12-42 record, Warriors fans finally have something to look forward to.
Two-time NBA most valuable player Stephen Curry told ABC’s Lisa Salters that he hopes to return to the Warriors’ starting line-up in early March, thus granting hope to the former Western Conference juggernauts.
Curry’s Shortened Season
The face of the franchise revolutionized the game with his limitless range and crafty handles but played just four games this season.
Stephen Curry is slow to get up after Aron Baynes fell on his left wrist. He has left the game. pic.twitter.com/6nsoM7J2Af
— KNBR (@KNBR) October 31, 2019
In four games, Curry averaged 20.3 points, 6.5 assists and five rebounds in 28 minutes per game.
He played 21:09 against the Suns before injuring his non-shooting hand. The 2015-2016 scoring champion and six-time All-NBA selection led all scorers in the Warriors’ first three games of the 2019-2020 season despite only shooting 20% from three-point range and 39.5% from the field.
Curry was without his backcourt-mate Klay Thompson in those first four games, as the other “Splash Brother” is still recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee. Thompson, a two-time All-NBA selection, sustained the injury in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Warriors Without the Splash Brothers
In Curry and Thompson’s absence, the Warriors have accumulated an 11-39 record. Consequently, fan engagement seems to be down.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Warriors’ fan engagement is down 20.5% on Reddit, who hosts the NBA’s most active message board, since last season. That is the seventh largest decrease in NBA fan engagement from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020.
Curry’s presence is sure to increase fan activity. A recent viral Twitter post shows Curry’s handles are still a viable threat to opposing defenses.
Warriors at the Deadline
Without the presence of their superstars, the Warriors got to see what D’Angelo Russell could do as a primary scorer. He led the Warriors in scoring with 23.6 points per game, but the Warriors decided to move on from the 23-year-old and his 4-year, $117,325,500 contract at the trade deadline.
In return, Golden State received the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins. Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr believes that the 2014-2015 rookie of the year is a better fit for the club once his superstars return.
Wiggins was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2014 and traded to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Love shortly after. He averaged 22.4 points, 3.7 assists and 5.2 rebounds for the Timberwolves in 2019-2020. In his first two games with the Warriors, Wiggins is averaging 21 points, 3.5 assists and 2 rebounds. He’s shot 33% from three-point range and 44.1% from the floor in 444 games.
The 6-foot-7-inch native of Toronto, Canada projects to start at small forward when Curry and Thompson return.
Where Curry Stands Now
Though improved, Curry admits that he still has work to do in order to gain a full bill of health.