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Injuries pave way for new NBA stars
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On May 10, 2013 @ 12:41 am In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
As the four NBA conference semifinals enter a loaded weekend schedule, each is tied 1-1 and features twisting story lines and wildly entertaining play.
Now imagine if everybody was healthy.
Star after star has been forced to the sideline by serious injury, and it seemed the games would inevitably be less compelling because of it. But this adjusted script might be better than the original.
A look at the unexpected ripple effects of the injuries that each team, and its respective fan base, had every reason to think spelled its end.
• As if the Stephen Curry’s coming-out party wasn’t enough, here comes Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson with a show all his own.
The second-year guard had gone quiet after Warriors coach Mark Jackson deemed he and Curry the “best-shooting backcourt in the history of the game” early in the first round, but Thompson scored 29 of his 34 points in the first half of the Warriors’ win against the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday while hitting eight of nine three-pointers.
“I felt like Steph Curry out there,” Thompson deadpanned.
None of this would have likely happened if Warriors forward David Lee hadn’t torn his right hip flexor in Game 1 of the first round, as the loss of their lone All-Star meant the offense was even more perimeter-oriented than usual.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who had invoked the name of Michael Jordan while comparing the experience of watching Curry play even before Curry’s 44-point, 11-assist outing in Game 1, knows now that he has two Warriors guards to worry about as the series moves to the Bay Area with games tonight and Sunday.
“I thought it was polite of them to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night,” Popovich said. “Maybe the next iteration is neither one of them will be hot in Game 3. That’s what I’m hoping.”
He’s in the minority there, though.
Curry has even the old-timers trying to remember another player who was this thrilling to watch.
His high-arching scoop shots in the lane have sparked comparisons to Spurs legend George Gervin, while … [For more on Injuries have paved way for new stars in NBA playoffs, click here.]
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