The Golden State Warriors are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2007, and they’re making only their second playoff appearance in 19 seasons. The Warriors can attribute their breakout season to several factors. Here’s a list of 10 reasons why the Warriors are going to the playoffs (not in any particular order).
1. Stephen Curry’s Health
Every Warriors fan knows that Stephen Curry has dealt with numerous unfortunate right ankle injuries throughout his career. During his rookie season, he was able to play 80 games and started 77 of those. Curry played and started in 74 games in his sophomore season. His third season of his career is when he started to face serious trouble with his ankle. He was only able to play in 26 games during the 2011-2012 season, which was shortened to 66 games due to the lockout.
Between his second and third season, Curry sprained his right ankle seven times. The majority of these seven different sprains occurred because his ankle was already weak, but some of them occurred because of him stepping on someone’s foot or tripping.
Curry has had two surgeries on his right ankle. The first one came before the 2011-2012 season, so the fact that he sprained his ankle several times after surgery is quite concerning to the fans and to the Warriors organization as a whole. The second surgery came near the end of the 2011-2012 season after he had been officially shut down for the rest of the season. Going into this season, Curry’s health was one of the most important factors for the Warriors to be successful.
Curry played in 78 games this season. He has had a couple minor sprains this year, but he has been dedicated to the rehab process and has recovered quickly. He also plays through pain and has shown an extra toughness this season when he plays right after a sprain. He has been smart though not to come back too fast.
He also has said that when he feels he’s tweaking his ankle, he can make a quick adjustment to his movement so that the sprain isn’t too bad. Instead of worrying about the possibility of spraining his ankle, Curry now plays with confidence that his ankle can recover more quickly than before, and his ankle is much stronger than last season. The fact that Curry has played 78 games this season is a huge reason why the Warriors are going to the playoffs.