Heading into the 2013 NBA Playoffs the Golden State Warriors were seen as a team that could possibly steal a series in the first round against the Denver Nuggets. The opposition had been limping as of late with Kenneth Faried spraining an ankle and Danilo Gallinari out for the rest of the year, but the injury bug has bit Golden State just as hard. David Lee led the Warriors in rebounding this season and after tearing his right hip flexor on Saturday and he will be lost for the duration of the playoffs.
If the loss doesn’t sting enough, the Warriors were actually in position to win game one, but finished the contest with a 97-95 loss. Stephen Curry was not voted to the NBA All-Star game this year and Lee was, but many made the argument that Lee was in fact the more dispensable of the two. Now, Curry has the opportunity to prove to the league that he is indeed a go-to guy and can win a playoff series seemingly single-handedly.
Throughout his career Curry has been widely recognized as just a pure shooter who lacks any other dimensions to his game–I promise you that an upset series victory over the Nuggets would solidify him as a superstar.
The challenge is now on the defensive side of the ball as the Warriors simply no longer have the big men available to defend Faried, who will play on Tuesday night after missing the last three games. Andrew Bogut now has a huge burden to bear as the Warriors’ starting center and with his injury-prone past, it is merely impossible for Golden State to maintain consistency in the frontcourt.