OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Mark Jackson said his is a no-excuse basketball team. Point guard Jarrett Jack said the Warriors don't live and die with one guy.
But Golden State loses a pretty significant piece of the team every day point guard Stephen Curry is on the shelf. And after he sprained his right ankle Wednesday, no one knows how long that will be.
So the Warriors head into Friday's game at San Antonio, where they've lost 27 straight, in full-on survival mode, hoping not to squander their early-season bounty.
"I told the guys we built a cushion," Jackson said. "Not so we can lose it. We built a cushion to build another one."
Keeping that cushion will be a tall order if Curry is out any length of time. He made the trip to San Antonio, but Curry, who sprained his right ankle in a shootaround before missing Wednesday's blowout home loss to Miami, said his status will be determined on a game-by-game basis. Having dealt with multiple sprains and two surgeries on the same ankle over the previous two seasons, he is on familiar ground.
He will receive constant treatment, and two standards have to be met before he returns.
One, he'll have to pass the strength tests administered by the athletic training staff. Two, he'll have to be void of all soreness in that ankle.
Curry said he is encouraged that his ankle has held up this long.
He said his ligaments are the healthiest they've been.
"Just a normal sprain,"
Until then, the Warriors are without their starting point guard and the engine to their offense. That is compounded by the fact they are still without their starting center, Andrew Bogut.
What 's more, Jack, the backup point guard, is playing through an ailing elbow.
The team's All-Star-hopeful power forward, David Lee, now will have to carry the Warriors offense.
Of the Warriors next five games, three are against the top three teams in the Western Conference (San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers). The other two are on the road against a New Orleans squad that has won seven of 10 and a Chicago squad currently sitting No. 4 in the East.
Judging by Wednesday's performance, getting two wins during this coming stretch figures to be a minor miracle if Curry's not on the court. And with his ankle history, you can be sure he won't be rushing back.
"It's the same kind of situation I've been in before," Curry said. "Just a matter of how fast it will heal. I've been through this plenty of times."
Jeremy Lin, the Houston Rockets guard with the global following, was not voted in as a starter, finishing third behind the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant and the Clippers' Chris Paul.
Had Lin finished second, there would be one fewer spot available for the Warriors, because Paul would be a slam dunk to be named as a reserve. Lin is not likely to be named as a reserve -- he's averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game -- so Curry and Lee are in better position to become the first Warriors All-Star since Latrell Sprewell.
With the starters set, the coaches in each conference now will vote on the seven reserves. They received their ballots Thursday. TNT will announce the reserves on Jan. 24.
Still, the Warriors stars aren't locks. Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, Memphis forward Zach Randolph and at least one Spur (either guard Tony Parker or big man Tim Duncan) are locks to make the team. So at least three spots are taken.
That leaves a maximum of four spots available. Lee and Curry are contending with Houston's James Harden, Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge (throw rookie point guard Damian Lillard in there, too), Memphis center Marc Gasol, one of the Spurs' stars and even Clippers guard Jamal Crawford.
Warriors (23-14) at San Antonio (30-11), 5:30 p.m., CSNBA