Compared to previous years of the Golden State Warriors dominance, 2018 could prove to be the year where all good things come to an end.
The combination of the Houston Rockets becoming a powerhouse in the Western Conference, behind the play of MVP candidate James Harden and Chris Paul, as well as the numerous injuries to the Warriors star players throughout the season and postseason -- namely Stephen Curry -- may be the difference between a fourth consecutive Finals appearance for Golden State, and getting bounced out in the Western Conference Finals.
The original report from Warriors coach Steve Kerr was that star point guard Steph Curry would be available towards the end of the first round matchup with the Spurs if it happened to go 6-7 games, after being sidelined with an MCL injury close to the end of the regular season, or definitely by the start of the second round against either the Pelicans or Blazers, with the Pelicans eventually sweeping Portland.
But after a checkup and practice session on Satuday, Kerr has given an update on Curry's condition, and it's not looking good.
Without Curry, a second-round matchup with the on-fire Pelicans, who will also have more rest than the Warriors, will become a lot more threatening, as the guard play of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo gave the Blazers fits in the first round, and will look to do the same against Golden State's backup guards.
The other three Warrior All-Stars should still be able to handle NOLA comfortably, but if Curry isn't back by the time they reach the WCF, and are facing the Houston Rockets, things could go pear-shaped in a hurry.