Stephen Curry is not back… yet.
The Warriors will play on without the two-time Kia MVP as they begin their second-round matchup with the Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, however, added, “I fully expect him to play Tuesday night” for Game 2.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) April 29, 2018
“I fully expect him to play Tuesday night,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Stephen Curry.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 29, 2018
Steph Curry pushed to return in Game 1, told Steve Kerr he felt great. Kerr obviously isn’t letting him play, but said he liked that Curry had the confidence he’s ready: “It’s a better answer than ‘My knee still hurts'”
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 29, 2018
”Just made the decision based on giving him the extra few days and the fact he only scrimmaged yesterday,” Kerr said. ”You’ve been out five weeks and we’re playing in the playoffs, I don’t think one scrimmage is enough, even though he feels great, he wants to play and pleaded his case. But we’re going to sit him tonight and very likely he’ll play Game 2.”
As usual, Curry insisted he ”feels great and he’s ready to go,” said Kerr, who is encouraged Curry feels so good.
Curry returned to full practice with contact Thursday and only scrimmaged 5 on 5 for the first time Friday, and Kerr prefers that Curry get additional on-court time at full speed Sunday before inserting him back into the rotation – which could be off the bench initially or on a minutes restriction, or both.
Kerr, general manager Bob Myers and athletic trainer Chelsea Lane met with Curry and made a decision to keep him out.
”We have to protect him from himself and his own competitive desire,” Kerr said.
Curry has not played since March 23 due to sprained left knee, but the Warriors still cruised to a 4-1 first-round series win over the Spurs. He would, however, boost their abnormally poor outside shooting. Entering Saturday night, the Warriors ranked 13th out of the 16 playoff teams in 3-point makes per contest and 3-point percentage. Curry ranked first in makes (4.2 per game) and 13th in accuracy during the regular season.
”We practiced the whole week with the understanding that Steph was probably going to play,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ”And he will play. It’s not like he’s going to miss the entire series. We practiced both ways. What we’ll do is Plan B, I guess, Plan A, whatever you want to call it.”
The Warriors are aiming for their fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals and third championship over the last four years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers
Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 24, 2019
Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.
Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers
Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.
Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.
The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.
Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup
Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love is expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for World Cup. Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry remains committed on USA roster and is expected to be recovered from thumb surgery and return midway through camp in L.A.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 24, 2019
This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.
During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.
Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.
Team USA still has strong blend of youthful players and veterans; this summer’s training camp will provide platform for emerging young players such as Donovan Mitchell, De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, Kyle Kuzma and Myles Turner, with gritty vets like Lowry, PJ Tucker and Thad Young. https://t.co/b8T16mdn8G
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 24, 2019
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