Stephen Curry Returns to NBA Action in Loss to Raptors

It was another "L" for the Dubs, but the future looks bright

Warriors fans: the long, (four-month) nightmare is over.
Warriors fans: the long, (four-month) nightmare is over.
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

San Francisco’s $1.4 billion Chase Center finally has something to cheer about.

Golden State’s golden boy, Stephen Curry, returned to the court last night after four months rehabbing a broken hand, and scored 23 points in just 27 minutes. The Warriors lost, unsurprisingly, 121-113 to the Toronto Raptors, but they at least looked like a team of paid grown-ups while doing so.

Teammates like Marquese Chriss noted the space a superstar creates on the floor, “He draws so much attention that I can just roll to the basket,” while Coach Steve Kerr, who’s now lost as many games this year as he lost in the last two seasons combined, said “To me, it feels like it’s on again.”

Already, pundits and Twitter trolls have trotted out the predictable talking point — why are they even playing him? To be sure, there are only 19 games left in the season. Golden State isn’t mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but with just 14 wins, their season is over. But the fanbase, even a spoiled, perennial Finals-contending fanbase out in the Bay, deserves to see their star, if he’s healthy. It’s good for the League (LeBron agrees), it’s good for Curry, from a mental health perspective (rehab isn’t just hard, it’s unconscionably boring compared to playing a game), it’s good for Kerr’s understanding of the team (not a single player Steph suited up with last night was on last year’s roster), and, of course, it’s good for the franchise’s bottomline.

The Western Conference still seems poised for a Battle for Los Angeles in early summer, but at this time next year, it’s highly likely the lowly Warriors are back near the top of the conference. The team will return its original triumvirate (Steph, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green), which beat LeBron’s Cavs back in 2015, look to develop swingman Andrew Wiggins, and add a top five lottery pick.

Most teams have to endure years of misery (or decades — hey, Knicks fans) before a sub-20 win season turns into title contention. For the Warriors, a year of injuries might’ve been a godsend. These guys played a half-decade of more basketball than anyone on the planet. No wonder their bodies broke down. And if Steph’s auspicious return is any indication, they’ll be back to their usual tricks and treys before long.

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