Curry: 'I think I have enough time to get right'
Stephen Curry rolled his left ankle in Game 2, but returned and finished with 30 points and 13 assists in 42 minutes. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
If Game 3 between the Warriors and Nuggets was to be played Thursday night, Golden State would likely be without its two best players.
Stephen Curry, who rolled his left ankle in the Warriors' 131-117 win over Denver on Tuesday, would watch the playoff action with David Lee, whose complete tear of his right hip flexor in Game 1 Saturday ended his first career trip to the postseason prematurely.
"I can only speak about how I feel right now," said Curry midday Thursday while bobbing up and down to test the ankle. "And I wouldn't be able to play right now if there was a game."
Lucky for Curry and the Warriors, they won't take the home court in Game 3 until Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT.
"I think I have enough time to get right," Curry said at the team's practice, which took place at Oracle Arena, not the downtown Oakland practice facility like usual.
Head coach Mark Jackson is hoping he'll have his on-court leader available, but he's preparing for all scenarios.
"I really don't know (if he'll be ready)," Jackson said. "I believe so. If not, we'll be ready to go as a team -- no excuses."
If Curry can't go, the team would turn to Jarrett Jack for the lion's share of the ball handling. Is Jack concerned?
"Nah," Jack deflected. "He's played through various injuries this year, most of 'em people probably weren't even aware of. We need him at full strength or as close to it come Friday night, and if it means taking a a day off (Thursday), he's well within his rights and well deserving to do so."
Curry isn't exactly taking the day off, though. He's taking advantage of every passing minute to prepare his body. When the Warriors arrived home from Denver, Curry tweeted, "56 hours to get right," and it appears as if he'll use every one of them.
"Lots of treatment since we've been back," Curry said. "It's all I can really do right now, just trying to manage the swelling."
Curry, whose right ankle has been surgically repaired twice, is well versed in ankle treatments, so it was discouraging to him when the twisted left ankle acted up after the game.
"It was a little worse than I thought it would be," he acknowledged.
Reports indicate that a pain-killing shot prior to Game 3 is an option for the playoffs, where it was not during the regular season.
"I haven't missed any time really. If the worst case scenario happens (Friday), and I'm limited, that'll be frustrating," Curry indulged. "But I'm not putting myself in that position yet, because I still feel like I have time to get back to 100 percent."
A limited Curry would be frustrating for the packed house at Oracle, as well, as the Warriors would be hard-pressed to make up the 49 points he's poured in through the series' first two games.
Despite the concern, Curry said he's confident he'll be ready to play, and his coach is confident he will produce.
"He very well could be the MVP of this series," Jackson said.
Mark Jackson called Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson the best tandem of shooters ever to play in the same NBA backcourt, and it spurred a nationwide debate. It falls right in line with Jackson's coaching style -- championing his players -- but what is most interesting is that his claim is being met with a fair amount of acceptance.
Former Warriors point guard Baron Davis, who led the team to its last playoff appearance in 2007, agreed with Jackson's bold claim on national television, and Jackson's position seems to be gaining momentum.
What's more important, though, is that his backcourt is starting to believe it.
"Yeah, I'd say that," Thompson agreed, "because I think we have the potential to be (the best shooting backcourt of all time). I think we have the ability to be."
Jackson said he rifled through the archives and came up with John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek as the backcourt that would give Curry and Thompson the best run for their money. Stockton, who made 845 threes over 19 NBA seasons, shot from deep at a .384 clip. Hornacek drained 828 threes in 15 seasons, shooting .403 from beyond the arc.
For comparison, Curry -- who already owns the record for most made threes in a single season -- has 644 threes in four NBA seasons at a .446 completion percentage. Thompson has 322 threes in two seasons, shooting .406 from deep.
No word yet from Gail Goodrich & Jerry West, Michael Jordan & John Paxson or Earl Monroe & Walt Frazier.
"That's pretty special," Curry said of Jackson's praise. "He's played 17 years, was a commentator, grew up in New York as a fan of basketball, so he's seen a lot of games. That's a pretty cool compliment from a coach who's seen us play day-in, day-out for the past couple years. We just gotta keep doing what we're doing."
The Warriors starting backcourt has accounted for 92 points through its first two career playoff games. Curry is 8-for-20 (.400) from deep for 49 points and Thompson is 7-for-11 (.636) from three-point range for 43 points.