‘He didn’t try to hurt me’ – Steph Curry defends Marcus Smart

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Stephen Curry doesn’t feel Celtics star Marcus Smart acted maliciously when he dove after a loose ball in last week’s game and subsequently got the Warriors star’s left foot injury.

Steph Curry said on Sunday before the Warriors’ contest against the Spurs. “He didn’t try to hurt me, there’s a certain way that he plays that – I don’t think many people would’ve made the play that he did, but I didn’t think it was malicious or dirty or trying to hurt me.”

“It was kind of just a tough situation… just the way that he plays there are conversations just around should he or shouldn’t he have, but it wasn’t like he looked at me and he’s like, ‘I’m trying to hurt that dude.’ So, it’s basketball.”

Steph will miss about seven games on the stretch having previously been included in FlashPicks of the Week before. The soonest he could return is April 2, when the Warriors welcome Utah Jazz.

Curry opined he’s highly optimistic he’ll be passed fit play in time for the playoffs, which starts April 16.

That said, Steph feels the next few days will be very critical for his recovery from the injury setback. If he attempts to do too much too soon, team medics have told him that he’ll possibly deal with crazy soreness.

Steph said, “If you push it too soon, it can linger and be a real nuisance and so obviously anything with your foot, your ankle, anywhere down there you want to be… cautious just because you don’t want something that lingers when you get back on the floor.”

He’s had to wait 1,005 days to once more share the court with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

That reunion happened on Monday and gave hinted at just how good the Warriors team could be with a healthy schedule. All the team required was for Andrew Wiggins to recover fully from an illness and then Golden State’s possible starting lineup could start to build solid chemistry together.

Steph said, “It was a rough 48 hours just thinking about that when I got hurt.”

Steph, Thompson, and Green have shared the court for just 11 minutes over the last two-plus seasons.

Steph said, “It’s frustrating, for sure, we’ve all been in our own kind of rehab journeys now and injuries and trying to get back out there on the floor. What I have confidence in is that we know each other so well that when we do get healthy we can pick up where we left off and understand how to be effective.”

Although, for now, the third-place Warriors will have to negotiate their next few fixtures without their best scorer.

Steph said, “The hard part is I obviously don’t know what rotations will look like and there’s gonna be a little bit of guesswork going into that less stretch of the season, playoffs, but it’s a great test for our guys to finish the season strong, whenever I get back out there, hopefully, it’s a smooth transition. And then we just bring our best selves for the playoff chase.

“I like the thought of where we’re at when we’re healthy and the fact that we will hopefully have fresh legs and bodies and minds ready to take on that playoff chase.”

The regular season of the Warriors ends on April 10, with the playoffs scheduled to start April 16 and 17 for all 16 teams.

The 47-23 Warriors, who currently sit third in the Western Conference, have 12 regular-season contests left.

Golden State decided to place Jordan Poole in the backcourt alongside Thompson in their first game sans Curry, a Sunday evening home contest versus the San Antonio Spurs. Damion Lee and Chris Chiozzaalso figure to have more playing minutes.