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Stephen Curry injury: MVP won't play against the Rockets in Game 2

Curry's ankle has opened a door for the Rockets

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Likely back-to-back MVP Stephen Curry hasn't fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered against the Rockets in Game 1, and so he will not play in Game 2 Monday night in Oakland.

There is no overstating this: Curry's injury matters. Steph has killed Houston the past two years (in which the Rockets are 1-12 against the Warriors), but this guarantees only that the game will be easier for James Harden and Co., not that it will be easy. Curry sat one game against the Rockets this years, and Klay Thompson dropped 38 and the Rockets still lost by double-digits.

That game came in the midst of, well, let's call it James Harden's Defensive Blue Period. Harden didn't engage defensively until after the All-Star Break. Since then, he's been much better on that end, and I wouldn't bank on Thompson approaching 40 if Harden sticks on him. Of course, the Rockets started their small lineup against the Warriors in Game 1, putting Corey Brewer on Klay and Harden on Barnes, so it's hard to know what wacky defensive assignment J.B. Bickerstaff will come up tonight.

The Warriors still handily beat the Rockets in the second half of Game 1 without Curry, but you have to think with the game starting 0-0 instead of a 20-something halftime deficit, the Rockets will be a little more game to make a run without their MVP.

The Warriors will likely start with Shaun Livingston at the point, who himself presents a matchup problem. If Bickerstaff sticks Patrick Beverley on him, the 6-7 Livingston loves to go into the post and shoot or pass over smaller guards. In fact, every Warrior other than Curry is comfortable taking advantage of a size mismatch in the post, including Thompson, Barnes and Andre Iguodala.

Don't be surprised — if Bickerstaff coaches rationally, which is a big if — to see less of Patrick Beverley in this game and more James Harden-at-point-guard lineups to match the Warriors' size, which might actually work in the Rockets' favor. We shall see.