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Don’t Expect Curry Back Soon; Warriors to Sign Acie Law; D-Lee Still Having Bleeders

Stephen Curry’s right ankle hadn’t been much of an issue for weeks. But Wednesday’s injury proved it wasn’t fully healed. Now he’s paying the price.

Curry had what he calls a phantom ankle injury. He rolled his ankle without stepping on anything. He had the ball on the right wing and tried to stop on a dime and dribble to his right, and his right ankled rolled over.

It was his fourth time this season rolling the same ankle. He did it once Oct. 19 against the Lakers in San Diego. He did it again in the opener vs. Houston on Oct. 27. He did it again when Eric Gordon crossed him up … sorry, when he tripped over Blake Griffin’s shoe lace … on Oct. 29. That time, he didn’t return to the game and sat out the next two contests.

He came back with the ankle no not 100 percent, but he wore a protective brace, a restrictive, metal contraption that Curry couldn’t stand. He took it off in the middle of the road game at Toronto on Nov. 8. (He lightly tweaked his ankle in that game, but it turned out to be minor) and gradually became less of a concern. But the way he injured it proves his ankle never fully healed. The ligaments weren’t strong enough to hold in his ankle on sharp cuts like that.

X-rays were negative for a fracture. His He his right foot was in a protective boot. He was scheduled for an MRI on Thursday afternoon. The likelihood is that Curry will be out as long as it takes for the ankle to get fully healed.

LEE: “It’s just tough. To continually keep rolling it like that, it might be something he has to sit out for a while and get it back strengthened. Because I’m no doctor but I don’t think its very good for you when you keep rolling it over and over. That can’t be good for you.”

Based on my amateur experience with sprained ankles – I’ve had a few in my non-illustrious playground career – a sprained ankle takes at least a couple of weeks to fully heal. If Curry sat out a couple of weeks, that would put him back for the Christmas Day home game against Portland, giving him 16 days of rest and treatment and keeping him out for six games. No doubt, Curry is going to try to fight it and come back sooner, which is why he’s in this situation now. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the decision was taken from him.

In the 10 games prior to the San Antonio game, Curry averaged 22.7 points on 51.2 percent shooting with 5.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 3.1 turnovers.

SMART: “Every time there is a limp, I hold my breath. Once you sprain something for the first time, coaches have to be on alert that it can happen at any given moment. Then you think you get over the hump and it comes out of nowhere. So, unfortunately, when you’re playing back-to-back games, and back-to-back minutes, those things are always going to be lurking. We just have to hope. He is pretty resilient about his treatment and getting it back to function. … Any time you lose a talent, you drop down three or four levels. He is definitely a talent.”

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To make up for the likelihood that Curry is out, the Warriors are turning to an old friend, Acie Law. According to a team source, the Warriors are signing Acie Law today. Forward Jeff Adrien will be cut.

Warriors general manager Larry Riley had said he wanted to see how the team looks with Lou Amundson and Ekpe Udoh before he makes a move. He was forced into doing something sooner than he’d like with Curry’s injury. Lou Amundson is back and Udoh is close, judging by the repeated references to his imminent return by players and coaches.

Part of the reason, I am assuming, Riley wanted to wait to see Amundson and Udoh is because he wants to be sure he doesn’t need Jeff Adrien before he lets him go. Golden State has the maximum 15 players on the roster and needed to cut someone in order to sign a free agent. The undrafted rookie power forward is the only player on a non-guaranteed contract and the obvious first choice to be cut. (No, Jeremy Lin will not be waived.) With Amundson and Udoh, the Warriors don’t need Adrien. They would have all the strength and energy and rebounding they need.

Though Udoh isn’t back yet, the return of Amundson helps considerably. Amundson is viewed by management as a back-up center, but he can play power forward. Plus, the Warriors have come to like Dan Gadzuric as someone to eat up minutes here and there.

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After Reggie Williams went scoreless on two shots in Tuesday’s loss at Dallas, Keith Smart pulled Williams aside for a one-on-one chat/film session.

SMART: “I shared with him that I thought that he didn’t look ready to play and that he is afraid to make a mistake on the floor. And he saw that on the film.”

Wednesday, Williams didn’t show an ounce of hesitancy. Probably because with point guard Stephen Curry out, Williams didn’t have to worry about Smart yanking him from the game. The result was the Reggie from last year, the dude with the knack for putting the ball in the hole. Williams reminded Smart – and himself – why they management felt comfortable letting go of Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson - because  in Reggie they have all the offense they need off the bench. Wednesday, Reggie was that OG at the local park, playing in jeans and Timberlands, who nobody can guard.

SMART: “I think he came out tonight and played the way we are envisioning him (the team, coaching staff, organization) and he has to continue to play like he did (Wednesday). He has to know that when he is open, he has the ability. He is probably one guy on our bench that you can say can put up 31 points on a consistent basis. That is what we are expecting of him. Now he just has to understand that we want that from him and we believe that he can do that. As long as he can think like that and continue to take this game here against a really good team and play that way. He didn’t force a lot of things. He did the right thing with open shots. You have to make open shots when you can.”

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Lee is paying a price for playing. Though he said his elbow is improving, he said he still experiences pain, especially when he gets hit in the elbow. And his wound is taking longer to heal because he’s playing.

He said the gash on the inside of his left elbow is still disgusting. It’s hard to stitch up because it’s more a hole than an incision. It is still open and requires regular maintenance.

LEE: “It hurt really badly after (Tuesday’s) game. It was a blood bath when I took my elbow pad and tape off. The wound itself really isn’t improving too much because I’m continuing to play on it. But at this point, it’s either that or sitting out. I’m not sitting out.”

Lee said his elbow is affecting effecting his shot. He can’t follow through completely on his stroke because he can’t straighten his elbow, no not quickly and forcefully anyway. He said not having a proper follow through is leading to his shots hitting the front rim on mid-range jumpers and free throws. He’s missed 12 of his last 25 free throws.

He made a few jumpers against San Antonio and Dallas. He has to compensate for lack of follow through by getting more push in his legs. But that’s hard to do because he still isn’t in the shape he needs to be in.

He was 7-for-10 shooting against the Spurs and he’s shot 47.3 percent in his last six games. Lee has averaged 38.3 minutes since returning from injury.

LEE: “It’s all effort because mentally, I’m still there. I want to get it done. I just want to get our team winning so badly that I’m just trying to will myself through it. It hasn’t been the easiest time. It’s been very difficult and I just can’t wait to get back to where I can be able to help this team at 100 percent.”

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Vladimir Radmanovic spoke up. Then, when his number was called, he contributed. He had 6 points and 2 rebounds in just over five minutes at Dallas. Though one of his misses clanked off the side of the backboard, he hit two critical 3s as the Warriors tried to steal a win.

Wednesday, he played 16 minutes. He had 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting with 4 assists.

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Since he set a career-high with 30 points at Minnesota, Dorell Wright’s shot has all but disappeared. He was 10-for-15 that game, including 9-for-12 from the 3-point line.

Since then, he’s been what’s cooler than being cool. And he hasn’t stopped pulling the trigger. Over the last five games, he’s taken 77 shots. He missed 50 of them. He’s shooting 35.1 percent in that span, including 10-for-32 from 3-point range.

On the bright side, his pump fake is still working.

Marcus Thompson

  • J Canseco

    On the bright side, the Warriors’ unwatchable play this year has allowed me to catch up on a lot of things I’d been putting off doing.

  • Philip Sorensen

    Not to be a hater but can someone tell me why we can’t keep Adrien, who is at least a banger, and cut Charlie Bell, who has been embarrassing and ineffective?

  • Dore

    Lee should stop playing a hero as he cannot will this team on his own with one arm. Put him on IR or whatever. Get healed. That was the plan from the beginning according to his doctor. Wait until the elbow heals (no gash) and then play. The Dubs need to enforce medical instruction over individual valor. The playoffs are not likely in the cards regardless.

  • BMAN

    DO you have an editor? The mistakes in this article are terrible. So terrible, it’s shameful. You have a ways to go before you’re in the big leagues dude.

  • Luis

    Love this!: “Wednesday, Reggie was that OG at the local park, playing in jeans and Timberlands, who nobody can guard.”

  • gsw_hoops

    Nice to see that nothing has really changed with new ownership. Cheap Coach, cheap gm, same a–hole as team President.

    Roster is very weak. Al for Craw for nothing, Jax for nothing, Maggette for nothing, Morrow for nothing, CJ Watson for nothing. This after JRich for Money in Cohan’s pocket and Brandon Wright a huge bust.

    Haven’t heard much from the owners for the past couple of weeks while the team has lost 12 out of 14 games or whatever.

    Disappointing.

  • http://cctimes ECJ

    Until the W’s get a legit SF, they will be what they are; a bad team with some talented players.

    Even Beans is showing some post game this year; having Lee on the team really helps him. If he could just learn to play some freakin defense..

    Too bad Melo is so hell-bent on playing in New York.. He’s be AWESOME in the Bay.

    Looking at the free agent market for the next two years; there is NOBODY at SF that would change the Warrior’s significantly other than Melo, so I hope they are able to draft a stud SF this year, because they will NOT sniff the playoffs with this roster.

    That said, I like the way Smart is coaching the team; using all his players. Its amazing how talented these guys are, when their coach believes in them enough to give them a chance. Nice change from Nellie’s style.

    ECJ

  • dubfan

    @gswhoops…don’t forget, too. We didn’t get anything for Michael Peitrus or Matt Barnes either, and they seem to be doing okay still…and either/both of them would be a perfect accompaniment on this present team…ah, well.

  • Jack Chu

    Nice report MT, but you gotta fix the typos/grammatical errors in your article. “Effecting” should be “affecting.” There are others, but you get the picture.

  • JEY

    Curry’s ankle rolled a little bit as he was playing against the Suns, but then he waved off the substitution and kept playing.

    That I bet, is how this ankle injury came about. He should have sat the rest of that game out. That game was certainly closer because he stayed in, but in the end, like normal, we couldn’t sustain our game.

    Maybe sitting out for Curry is the best thing he can do right now. Watch film, see your turnovers, make the mental adjustments. He might say he’s ready for it, but those one-handed passes are just killing him. If it’s not mental, it’s worse.

  • deano

    What the Warriors do with Curry’s rehab, and with everything else this season, must be done with the acknowledgement that GSW cannot make the Playoffs. They need to let this injury fully heal. Nothing of consequence will be lost while Curry is out.

  • Reason

    How quickly we want change after new ownership… the team has too many needs to be addressed in a year and the organization hasn’t had the reputation that creates blockbuster trades like the ones that brought KG and Ray Allen to Boston, etc. Somehow the Warriors need to change their bargaining position to a place of leverage. Players have to want to come here.

    The Warriors need more than a SF, they also need a decent back-up point guard, a beast power forward (who knows if we have that in Udoh) and a center with size and power who can hit a mid-range jumper and shoot above 60% from the free throw line.

  • Sume

    Same goes for Lee. Both need to heal, why risk it at this point. If Lee’s elbow is still bothering him he needs to take a rest. Our med staff are not doing their jobs IMHO

  • Sleepy Freud

    OK guys, I’m taking a rest.

  • dw

    Extremely long sigh…..

  • WetLunGz

    Id say we need a dominate center more than we need a dominate sf. Dwright has been doing goo at sf, beans has just been ok at center..I would love a dominate center who can play defense and keep other team oujt of the paint…hopefully udoh can bring some of that tonite if he plays…

  • GSWTruth

    Curry is too fragile and still turns the ball over way too much, Ellis is one of my favorite players but is too small and plays no defense, D.Wright is a role player, Lee get’s an incomplete until the end of the year, Andris is a bad-foul machine and too thin to make an impact. We need to do something to right this ship, take our losses and rebuild.

    just a thought: I actually think Ellis would be best served as the sixth man. Just think about that for a minute, but we would need a monster SF.

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  • deano

    Maybe with Amundson, Udoh and Law on the bench, both Curry and Lee can take off the time they need to fully heal. Their absence will not diminish the Warriors’ Playoff chances, because there never were any.

  • 808Pacific

    Udoh’s one hook shot showed more promise than AB offensive skills ever.

    Gettn real tired of AB WEAK skills near the basket.
    Pretty sad!

  • garrett

    D.Lee ‘s playing time definetly should be cut down. Lou, Dan and Ekpe should be rotated into the game early and often. Lee ‘s game was way off and as of lately his lack of defense is a liability. Ekpe and Lou can score and even though we havent seen much from them its clear they’re both hungry and can bring the energy this team needs when its down. Let Lee and Beans come off the bench and score later on in the game. Just cause you give a guy a huge contract doesnt mean you can let him think he’s gonna play no matter what. Especially if his play’s isnt cutting it.

  • KevinSantana

    Trade AB,BR,EU for Zach Randolph.Zach could switch spot with Lee in center or PF spot. Needs backup PG too badly. GS still is not ready yet, Coach is an issue too. That Dallas game is his barometer.**Nellie beat Mavs last year with 6 players ONLY, in Mavs turf.What a coach….

  • gswhoopscoop

    Did anyone happen to listen to FP Santangelo after Friday’s game. He was amazed over the complete futulity of Andris Biedrins. We need to keep talking about Biedrins and make sure that Keith Smart utilizes different lineups without this complete joke of a player. In the history of the NBA I have never seen a player assigned so much value within the organization be a complete non-factor with a 9mil salary. Apparently, the warriors thought that big men are hard to come by and they panicked by signing him long term. Udoh’s first shot in the league was a turn around jumper from outside the block….that’s move was better than any move the useless latvian has produced his entire 6 yr career…….GET RID OF BIEDRINS …..HES A BURDEN TO THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • slamdunk

    Rowell and the new ownership can discount all the seats they want, and offer packages and free food/drinks, and hand out all the t-shirts, but they don’t seem to realize that what the fans really want is a competitive team on the floor.Riley is an idiot if he thinks that Amundson and Udoh are going to make a huge difference in the win column. This team has a black hole at center and no offensive contributions from the low post, so they totally rely on Ellis, Curry and on occasion D.Wright/Lee. Why did Lacob buy the team if he is going to run it like Cohan? What has really changed? Maybe they will lose only 50 games this year instead of 56, Big improvement!

  • jclay09

    Cutting Adrien over buying out Bell is a very typical Warriors move. Save money by cutting the better player. Great move Lacob!

    Trade Monta, Vlad, and Gadzuric for Igoudala and Brand.

  • Mac

    How about we bring back Baron and B. Griffin for Curry Biedrins and a first…..Tayshaun Prince would help this team a lot…..Unfortunately we are back to being a late Lottery team……and we never win the Lotto….Basketball god’s help us……but honestly no one is competing with the top 5 teams right now….

  • Marcus Thompson

    I edited the blog for the likes of BMAN and Jack Chu, who want their blog posts error free. Can’t promise I always will. I usually do them after games, between midnight and 2 a.m., or on my iPhone. And, it’s a blog. Voluntary work. Extra info. I’d much rather play with my daughter than go back over a 1,500 word, informal blog post so someone who calls themselves – sorry, himself – BMAN can think I’m ready for the big leagues. But I will do what I can

  • Go Dubs

    Marcus, don’t let the words of a few individuals get to you. I appreciate all the Warriors info I can get. Keep up the great work and I hope to see more of you on Chronicle Live.

  • Dubfan

    The grammar police apparently want you arrested and handcuffed Marcus.