It has been known for days that Stephen Curry will not play in the Golden State Warriors’ highly anticipated Christmas matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But now coach Steve Kerr has explained why Curry will be on the sidelines, discussing his belief it would be “completely irresponsible” to risk him for the festive showdown.
The Warriors star sustained a sprained ankle earlier in the month that will require two to three weeks of healing.
And even though Monday’s clash is huge, Kerr has not contemplated putting Curry in the game.
“The guy hasn’t even had a 3-on-3 game, right?” Kerr told reporters.
“So if we weren’t playing Cleveland on Christmas and I told you Steph hasn’t played in a 3-on-3 game, hasn’t had any contact at all and the game is 48 hours from now, you’d say, ‘Oh, Steph’s not going to play’.
“But because of the magnitude of the game, everybody wants to know. But we can’t let that affect our judgment. He can’t play. That would be completely irresponsible if he did.”
The Warriors’ record is almost pristine without Curry – they have gone 7-1, with the only loss coming in Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
Kevin Durant has stepped up mightily in his team-mate’s absence, averaging 30.5 points per game with 9.1 rebounds and 5.9 assists in those eight matches.
Kerr said despite the severity of Curry’s sprained ankle, his workouts have been good and he is on his way to swiftly returning.
“I’ve been really encouraged by his workouts,” Kerr said. “Moving well. Looks like he is gaining confidence.”