As a former member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Eric Snow suffered a career-ending injury prior to the 2008-09 season, tearing cartilage in his left knee. He never returned to the NBA, at least not as a player.
While Steph Curry’s MCL sprain isn’t nearly as serious as Snow’s injury, the 43-year-old believes it will be difficult for Curry to return and be 100 percent in the playoffs.
“I think it’s going to be tough,” Snow said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Whenever you have to miss time, it’s for a reason. So if you have to miss time, then there’s no way for him to miss basketball time, then come back and now all of a sudden he’s the same guy as if he didn’t miss time. What’s significant that people aren’t really talking about is he missed two games, then came back and got injured again. So we really don’t know if the ankle was ever really healed. So this time, maybe let the ankle heal. But an injury is an injury. I’m a firm believer that you can’t just miss time and come back and then all of a sudden you’re the same player.”
Snow said it can take a player returning from injury several games to get back into rhythm – maybe even more in the postseason.
“Well, here’s the issue,” Snow said. “During the season if it happens, you can practice before you come back and play. But during the playoffs, no one’s practicing. You walk through a lot of things, you do a lot of shooting and things to get your game right, but you don’t play the game. You don’t go up and down the court. So it takes a while, maybe a few games, to really get your rhythm back. Fortunately for Golden State, it’s a guy that’s extremely good at what he does. So for him, those games is probably shorter than maybe the average player, but it does take some time because you can’t practice. I worry more about him getting hurt on screens and guys being physical with him. Is he able to attack the basket with the same intensity that he did before he got injured? The last thing I’m worried about is his jump shot. I’m more worried about the other things that’s needed for him to be successful and their team to be successful.”
The Warriors lead the Rockets 3-1 in their first-round series and can close out Houston in Game 5 on Wednesday. After that, it’s a crapshoot, especially without Curry.
How far can the Warriors get without the reigning MVP?
“It’s tough,” Snow said. “The one thing I do say is that the guys on their team, outside of Steph, are extremely underrated. They can win without him. I believe that they can probably get to the conference finals without him, but I don’t think they can get past the conference finals without him.”