On Monday, it was announced that Golden State MVP Stephen Curry had been diagnosed with a sprained right MCL. The injury is less severe than what some may have feared Curry suffered when he fell on a wet spot on the floor on Sunday afternoon, but it will knock him out of action for at least two weeks, with that time frame not even taking into consideration a potentially slowed return to form when it is decided that Curry is well enough to play.
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For this to happen in the postseason is some really crummy timing for the defending champs, because though they did well to thump Houston in Curry’s absence in Game 4, they’ll face a stiffer challenge in the next round as it will likely line up against Doc Rivers’ Los Angeles Clippers. Los Angeles is currently up 2-1 over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Rivers, always good for a tweak, made some curious comparisons when asked about Curry’s absence on Monday:
Doc Rivers on Steph Curry: "I don't want anyone to get injured ever... It happened to us in Boston. No Kevin (Garnett) one year and Perk (Kendrick Perkins) hurt for Game 7 (2010 NBA Finals). It's part of it. It's still a team game at the end of the day but you obviously don't want a guy like that to ever go down."
It’s true. The Celtics were working with the East’s best record (just a game behind the Lakers for top record overall) in 2009 when Kevin Garnett was lost for the season with a knee injury, and Boston eventually bowed out in the second round after a too-close first round win over the Chicago Bulls.
Then there’s Kendrick Perkins. Doc Rivers just kind of compared Stephen Curry to Kendrick Perkins.
Perkins, especially then, genuinely was an important cog for Boston. His career hadn’t yet hit the downward trajectory that stemmed from the ACL tear he suffered in Game 6 of that year’s Finals, and he was hardly a millstone. And, yes, the 5.8 points and 5.8 rebounds he averaged per game in the Finals that June would have helped a Celtic team that lost by four points to the champion Lakers in Game 7, with Pau Gasol cinching the win with an offensive rebound.
Taken in full, perhaps the one game loss of a fringe starter like Perkins combined with the half-season and full-playoff loss of an MVP candidate in Kevin Garnett, when averaged out, will probably approximate the mid-playoff loss of an MVP like Curry for (possibly at least) two weeks.
(That’s us being nice. Doc Rivers will do anything at this point to send a little shot Golden State’s way.)
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