Stephen Curry was hot early and often, but it didn’t matter for the Warriors on Tuesday night. They lost to the Celtics 111-107, as Curry’s brilliance was offset by the loss of Golden State’s last remaining center and a related rebounding disadvantage, especially on the offensive glass.
But the rebounding disparity wasn’t completely because starter Kevon Looney sprained his ankle in the first half, which compounded the fact that rookie center James Wiseman is already out with a sprained wrist. Golden State was already the worst rebounding team in the NBA, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.
(Note: On Wednesday morning, Slater clarified and said the Warriors were the third-worst rebounding team before the loss to Boston)
Golden State was out-rebounded 51 to 36 on the night. It’s a shame for coach Steve Kerr and the entire team that they wasted a vintage night from Curry. He scored 38 points and tallied eight assists — and plus he did his part on the boards with 11 on the night.
Here’s one of the many incredible plays from Curry, this one probably his best of the night as he drove to the hoop for a spicy layup.
Kerr said postgame he expected Looney to miss a couple of games, and Wiseman will be re-evaluated in about a week. Options are running out, and it appears Golden State will play small-ball lineups with Draymond Green and reserve Eric Paschall at center at times, with Juan Toscano-Anderson also joining the diminutive rotation.
In fact, according to Kerr, Anderson is “headed for a lot of minutes” during the upcoming stretch.
There remains a chance Golden State could acquire an additional center, but that wouldn’t help them much in the short-term, which is what they need. Due to the pandemic, any new player must test negative for Covid-19 multiple times before joining the club, delaying his potential impact.
So Golden State is probably on its own. Whatever they do, they can’t waste too many more scintillating Curry performances. They’ll have their next chance against the Mavericks on Thursday night.
(Photo credit:John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports)