Steph Curry's foot injury occurred in the most unfortunate time for the Golden State Warriors. With six games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the goal for the Dubs is to stay competitive and afloat in the second or third seed of the Western Conference standings.
As the Warriors wait for their best player to recover, there might be a substantial silver lining that they could get out of this.
First, the Warriors will realize and learn how to play without their superstar. While this isn't exactly the format they're often going to be in when Curry gets back, at least they're prepared for when Steph sits on the bench in the playoffs.
Second, this will allow more playing time for those that want to prove they deserve more minutes, specifically for the Dubs' young pieces in Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and even Kevon Looney.
Unleash the Poole party
The Warriors have played three games post-Curry's injury, and in all those games, Poole took over the scoring load. This is an important time for Golden State to run the offense through Poole, averaging 17.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists this season. He obviously won't dominate as Curry does, but the third-year guard has proven he's an effective rim and perimeter shooter, especially if he's given the green light to run the offense.
Poole's skill set was on full display on Wednesday, when he flat out dominated the Miami Heat with a 30-point performance. Since Curry's injury, the guard from Michigan University is shooting a career-best 47.7% from downtown and 48.4% from the field. He has legitimately earned the reputation of being a lethal scorer who seems to keep getting better each game. Poole has fit perfectly in the Warriors' well-known motion offense because of his capabilities to be a playmaker, decent defender, and dangerous scorer.
The Warriors will benefit from Poole's growth in the next few games as they gear up for the playoffs. They now have a reliable second option and, more importantly, another weapon, especially when Curry sits on the bench and scoring is needed.
Gearing up for the playoffs
The Warriors are aware of what will happen in the playoffs when opposing teams will do their best to tire Curry out and get the ball out of his hands. This will also be when the game slows down, and the Warriors will have to depend on their half-court offense.
In the next few games without Curry, the Dubs need Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson, and their crucial rotation pieces to garner rhythm, especially since they'll be getting more playing time and shots with Curry out.
More importantly, this is an opportunity for them to figure out how they can contribute with Curry inactive because, as mentioned above, opposing teams will pay most attention to Steph. So the rest will have to step up when needed in crucial moments.
Maybe this is when the Warriors can figure out a game plan outside of their best player. If there's one silver lining for the Warriors' recent misfortune, it's figuring out how to play without their best player — an ironic but essential need come playoff time.