There was plenty bizarre about Stephen Curry’s return. The atmosphere at Chase Center was uniquely boisterous, featuring a playoff-like atmosphere which distracted from the fact that the Warriors were a 14-48 team facing the 43-18 Toronto Raptors in a distant “rematch” of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Aside from it being just Curry’s third game at Chase Center and first time playing in an NBA game in more than four months (and having gone down to Santa Cruz for a scrimmage), he also had the rare weirdness of a minutes restriction. That limitation led Curry to scowl at head coach Steve Kerr after being subbed following a 3-pointer in the second quarter.
“I felt better than I expected and felt like I obviously could have played more minutes, gotta stick to the plan just this first game, but that was the hardest part to kind of deal with where you’re trying to get rid a rhythm,” Curry said. “I think I got subbed out twice I think after making the shot, so no reaction from coach as I’m scowling at him on the way by.”
But the most bizarre part of Curry’s experience was in pre-game warmups. That’s where it really hit him: he’s never really played with any of these guys.
No active member of the Warriors’ Thursday roster was on the team last season. They don’t know his pregame routine, and with no Draymond Green, Curry was lacking a crucial part of that.
“That actually hit me in two-line layups because I have a lot of routines that I kind of rely on in terms of getting ready for the game,” Curry said. “Draymond usually throws me a pass in the corner at a certain time and he wasn’t out there. Nobody got hyped for my little scoop shot. So really weird for sure.
But that’s the nature of the season where we’re trying to build something new, based off of the culture that we have and that championship identity so it’s gonna take some time but it was fun because getting out there and playing with a bunch of the guys we were trying to build chemistry on the fly.”
For more Warriors videos click here.