PORTLAND -- There’s bad news from Oakland, where Golden State’s Stephen Curry has been ruled out of Game 3 of this Western Conference Semifinal series here.
Not bad news for the Warriors, mind you, who have been handling their business without Curry so far and have a two-game cushion upon which to rely in case this decision was tactical rather than medical . . . which, frankly, we hope it wasn’t.
Not bad news for the Portland Trail Blazers, which has to figure out the thicket of problems in beating the Warriors without Curry before they worry about the ones that crop up with him.
No, this is bad news for us, because it means at least two more days of monumentally idiotic debates about why the Warriors should hold him out or play him, about whether the Warriors are as good without him as with him, and even (unbelievably) whether his value has diminished because of the way Golden State has done its work in his absence.
[RELATED: Kerr: Curry 'not going to play' in Game 3 vs Blazers]
So in order, these are your answers. They are the only answers, and anyone who tells you different is an idiot who should be under constant supervision.
1. Curry should play when he can be Curry again, which means that his knee will give you the answer when his knee is damned good and ready, and not before. If he can play, he will play, and the idea that he would not risk greater injury by playing is different than the idea that he won’t be as effective at what he does. When he can do the things he normally does, then he’ll play, which is something Steve Kerr understands from even a fifth-grade understanding of the healing process.
If this concept of health evades you, you should probably sit down and wait until the fever subsides.
2. The Warriors are not as good without Curry, but they are good in a different way because they are deeper than all the other teams. They need bigger contributions from the Leandro Barbosas and Festus Ezelis and Marreese Speightses and Ian Clarks and Brandon Rushes and Anderson Varejaos of the world, and to date they have gotten more of them than they have not. Having Curry gives them one of the great game disruptors in the history of the sport. Not having him forces them to be more traditional, but their roster construction makes that possible too.
In other words, the Warriors’ greatest unheralded strength is that they are not a linear team. They have more ways to discomfort an opponent than the other way around, and they have used that gift to put themselves in the position they are in now. Understand that and commit to memory because the question of Curry’s value is annoying to those who have actual brains.
3. And finally, Curry’s value is unaffected by a strained knee that costs him two weeks of a playoff season for the same reason that anyone else who misses a brief time with an injury has the same long-term value – because it does. There are precisely 29 teams in the National Basketball Association whose owners, general managers and coaches would cheerfully slaughter relatives and pets for a chance to get Stephen Curry, and the idea that some TV and radio folks posed this prove only that on-air talent and producers with nothing else to ask and too much air time to fill have to stretch the envelope of logic well beyond its structural integrity.
In short and in sum, the Curry story has been overdiscussed and overthought and overdone and overwrought. He’ll be back when he’s back, and he will have a bit of rust to scrape, and then all will be as it was. Everyone, take a Flintstones Chewable Valium and stop letting the madness eat at your cerebra. I know three days between games is hard, but you can get through it. We know you can. Hang in there a couple of more days.
And if you can’t, go be a meathead where the rest of us don’t have to hear you. Trust me, I speak for the group on this.