Steph Curry of Golden State will miss at least two weeks with a sprained right knee/AP photo by David Phillip
The NBA sent out a news release Monday regarding the schedule for the Western Conference semifinals. It says that if the Clippers-Trail Blazers and Golden State-Houston first-round series end in six games or less, the semifinals will start May 1. If either series goes seven games, they will begin May 3.
That means that, either way, Steph Curry of Golden State figures to miss the at least the beginning of the semifinals because he will out at least two weeks with a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee, an injury sustained Sunday in Houston.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was asked Monday night before his team was to take on the Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their series if it is hard not to do the math on that even though his team is currently dealing with Portland.
“No, it’s pretty easy for me not to do the math,” Rivers said. “We have (Portland’s) Damian Lillard and (C.J.) McCollum in front of us right now, so that math is easy for me. It’s a 2-1 series. … I don’t look that far ahead. I think that would be a foolish thing to do.”
The Warriors lead their series with Houston 3-1.
Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors is helped off the court after sustaining a knee sprain Sunday during the second quarter of the Warriors’ 121-94 victory over the Houston Rockets/AP photo by David Phillip
If the Clippers get past Portland in their first-round playoff series, they would likely play the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals. Some of that series could be played without reigning MVP Steph Curry. The Warriors’ guard on Monday was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, an injury sustained Sunday during the second quarter of Golden State’s 121-94 victory at Houston in Game 4 of their series; the Warriors lead 3-1.
This is the release posted on Golden State’s website: Warriors guard Stephen Curry underwent an MRI this morning that revealed a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his right knee. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks. Curry suffered the injury on the last play of the first half of Game 4 last night at Houston and was diagnosed with a sprained right knee by the team’s medical staff on site.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters at the morning shootaround ahead of Monday night’s Game 4 at Portland that he didn’t realize Curry could be seriously injured; this was before news came of the diagnosis.
“I don’t want anyone to get injured, ever, so I hope he’s healthy,” Rivers said.
The Clippers lead their series with Portland 2-1.
Doc Rivers/AP photo by Danny Moloshok
By and large, the Clippers are not expected to be in the Western Conference finals. What most are saying is that it will be Golden State and San Antonio. Coach Doc Rivers knows that, but he doesn’t mind one bit. He doesn’t believe his players are concerned with that, either.
“I haven’t heard a lot of guys talking about that,” he said at Saturday’s morning shootaround ahead of Game 3 of the first-round series between the Clippers and Portland at Moda Center; the Clippers lead 2-0. “We just believe we’re a good team. And we just have to prove it by our wins and our play. But Golden State deserves everything they’re getting. They won 73 games. If you don’t talk about them, you’;re being silly.
“They get it all, and, to me, the two teams that everyone should be talking about are the two teams we’re talking about – them and San Antonio. I mean, I hear it every day – that Western Conference finals series is set up already. But I think there is nothing wrong with people making that assumption. We just don’t agree with it. And there is nothing wrong with that either.”
Jamal Crawford on Tuesday won his record third Sixth Man of the Year award/AP photo by Rick Bowmer
Jamal Crawford of the Clippers on Tuesday morning was named Sixth Man of the Year a record third time. Crawford, 36, broke his own record by becoming the oldest player to win the award. Crawford was 34 when he won it two years ago. He also won the award in 2009-10 with the Atlanta Hawks.
Crawford tallied 51 first-place votes and 341 total points from a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters. He averaged 14.2 points, 2.3 assists and 26.9 minutes while playing in 79 of 82 regular-season games for the Clippers.
Andre Iguodala of Golden State finished second with 33 first-place votes and 288 points and Enes Kanter of Oklahoma City was third with 19 first-place votes and 182 points.
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by the Clippers’ J.J. Redick during Wednesday’s game at Oracle Arena in Oakland/AP photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
The Golden State Warriors won all four games against the Clippers this season, six consecutive dating to this past season. After his Warriors defeated the Clippers 114-98 on Wednesday at Golden State, guard Klay Thompson spoke in complimentary tones about how difficult that was to accomplish.
“It’s tough to sweep the same team four times, especially against one of the better teams in the league, so we’re proud of it,” he said. “It’s a team we’ll face down the line, so it’s always great to sweep a team; it’s not easy.”
There is a strong chance the Clippers and Warriors will meet in the second round of the playoffs. Although Wednesday’s was a 16-point margin, the other three games this season were much closer as the Warriors won by four (112-108), seven (124-117) and three (115-112) points.
Chris Paul looks to the basket during the Clippers’ 114-98 loss at Golden State/AP photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez
– When your two starting guards shoot a combined 8 of 29, it’s nearly impossible to beat a team like the Warriors (64-7), who have now won 51 consecutive regular-season home games and moved a step closer to having the best regular-season record in history. That came in 1995-96 when the Chicago Bulls went 72-10. Chris Paul shot 4 of 16, J.J. Redick shot 4 of 13. Both were 1 of 6 from 3-point range. Both accepted blame.
– DeAndre Jordan had a fine game. The hard-playing Jordan scored 19 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked two shots. His coach, Doc Rivers, said he was the most dominant player on the floor. Jordan also doled out three assists.
– The Clippers’ starting forwards – Paul Pierce and Luc Mbah a Moute – did not provide much to this game. Pierce played just under 17 minutes and scored only three points on 1 of 3 shooting. He had three rebounds. Mbah a Moute played only 8 1/2 minutes, took two shots and scored two points with one rebound.
– Golden State’s Splash Brothers – Steph Curry and Klay Thompson – killed the Clippers. Curry scored 33 points and shot 12 of 23 – 4 of 10 from 3-point range. Thompson had 32 points on 12 of 21 from the field and made 7 of 10 from deep. Curry also had five assists and three steals. When those two are going like that, forget about it.
– Rivers said after the game that he liked the spirit with which his team played. He said that, indeed, his two guards not shooting well was a big reason why the Clippers lost. He also said that there were several defensive mistakes his players made after they got to within seven points in the fourth quarter. The bottom line is, the Clippers went 1-4 on this road trip. That’s not the best scenario with the playoffs only three weeks away. The Clippers now take on Portland on Thursday in the first of a three-game homestand. The Clippers then play Denver on Sunday afternoon and the Boston Celtics on Monday night. If the Clippers (43-27) can get well at home, it could go a long way in erasing the memory of this unsuccessful trip.