With Stephen Curry out at least two weeks after suffering a knee injury in Houston yesterday, the Golden State Warriors could use some help from the Portland Trail Blazers tonight when they face the L.A. Clippers tonight at 7:30 p.m. PST.
Regardless of the severity of exactly how long Curry ends up being out — he'll be re-evaluated in two weeks, but could be out longer — the Warriors would greatly benefit from getting as much time as possible before the second round begins to a) give him as much of a chance as possible to return at some point during the series and b) give veteran guards like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston a chance to rest before playing bigger minutes in Curry's absence.
So just how much time can the Warriors buy by rooting for a Blazers win?
On the surface, what the Blazers do against the L.A. Clippers seems more important to the Warriors and their fans than a matter of simple preference at this point. But in reality, there's not a whole lot of difference between the Blazers pushing it to Game 6 or losing in five as ESPN's Marc Stein.
Told you. Game 1 starts on May 1 even if LAC wins in 5, which would be 4 day break https://t.co/DFzP6lQOfI— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) April 25, 2016
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury broke things down a bit further, looking at how the schedule of the second round will affect Curry's time.
But as the AP’s Josh DuBow pointed out, no matter when the series starts, the second round almost always plays Games 3 and 4 on a Friday-Sunday or Saturday-Monday schedule, which would point to May 6-8 or May 7-9 in this pending series.
No matter how early you start the second round, the rest of the schedule usually balances out. May 9 would take the Warriors to a projected Game 4 of the second round–either right before it or right on it...So the Warriors probably will have to approach the next round as if Curry won’t make it back–and if they get him for the tail end, that’s a bonus.
Given what Spears tweeted today that in fact the second round will start on Sunday, May 1 if both series go six or less, we really need to be rooting for Portland to push their series with the Clippers to seven games to push the start to Tuesday, May 3 and buy a few more days on Curry's rest timeline.
But put the details aside: right now, it would be nice if the Blazers win tonight to have a chance that their series goes seven. Then we need to hope both teams defend home the rest of the way to get the maximum amount of time out of this thing.
It's really not a huge deal, but it will give us something to root for tonight in the wake of some difficult injury news earlier today. If nothing else, maybe they'll enter the next round a little more worn out and be an easier opponent for the Warriors.