Indiana Pacers vs. Golden State Warriors, 3-27-2018 - Expert Prediction

Steve Kerr Kevin Durant

Kerr has major confidence in his team and rightfully so as they're still a very risky team with Curry out.

Warriors: Host Indiana on Tuesday looking for a fifth straight win against the Pacers. Warriors teammate Kevin Durant missed 19 games last season with the same injury.

Warriors, the defending National Basketball Association champions, have been dealing with a plethora of injuries ahead of the postseason.

The Pacers have won two in a row, the most recent a 113-107 overtime victory Sunday over the Miami Heat that allowed in to clinch its seventh postseason appearance in the last eight years.

Golden State's net rating drops from 14.7 when Curry is on the floor to 4.3 when Curry sits on the bench, per NBA.com .

That latter late-season rarity isn't as bad as it sounds.

Kerr reminded there is still rehabilitation and court work to be done before simply throwing Curry back into some of the most intense minutes against a teams that are foaming at the mouth to take a bite out of the Warriors' playoff dominance. Then again, they thought they'd have him Sunday, only to have him call in sick with flu-like symptoms.

The West is far from settled, so while the Jazz could be the No. 7 seed and match up with Golden State, the Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and San Antonio Spurs are also within that range.

Try as the ailing star might have on Sunday to put a positive spin on the matter, when he shared his plan to prove Steve Kerr wrong after the Warriors coach announced that the two-time MVP would miss the first round of the playoffs with the Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, this is as ugly as it get for a defending champion.

"There's no way he's playing in the first round", Kerr told reporters.

"We're not going to bring him back until he's ready", Kerr declared Monday. It's a similar injury to the one he suffered against the Rockets in the 2016 playoffs that cost him four games. However, the Pelicans won't be able to score as much as the Warriors, so Curry could rest the first round if Golden State chooses to do so. Because of injuries and illness to their fearsome foursome, the Warriors were forced to go with a starting lineup of Quinn Cook, Nick Young, Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney and JaVale McGee. And that's really all I'm focused on right now. We didn't have to depend or have help from another team in getting there.

IN also will face Sacramento, the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver on its eight-day trip before returning home for the rematch with Golden State next Thursday. Durant (ribs), Klay Thompson (hand) and Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) also are unavailable for the Warriors, but the team expects them back relatively soon.

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