The Warriors need the real Steph Curry now
Steph Curry, weak link?
Those are words you don’t often see in the same sentence, unless it’s about an opponent he is destroying. But through two games of the Western Conference finals, Curry has not resembled a two-time MVP. It was easy to gloss over after the Warriors’ Game 1 win, but after the Rockets crushed Golden State, 127-105 in Game 2, doubts have come to the surface.
According to ESPN.com, the Rockets targeted Curry on 43 possessions through the first two games of the series, often isolating him against James Harden.
“We were trying to be too cute with our [defensive] exchanges and our switches and all that stuff instead of just manning up and playing one-on-one defense,” Curry told reporters afterward. “Whether they score or not, as hard as we’re working on the defensive end, they’re working as hard on the offensive end to get shots up.
“That was the difference between Game 1 and Game 2. They made a concerted effort to turn those one-on-one situations into a little bit more ball movement, and we were just a step slow, myself included.”
Curry being a defensive liability is not news, nor is teams trying to expose that. It’s Curry’s offense that has been one of the surprises of the series. Curry is 2-for-13 on 3-pointers, and the Rockets often have forced him to attack the rim, with mixed results.
“It’s a long series. They are trying to play a certain kind of way to keep me off the line. I’ve probably gotten into the paint more than I have all season,” Curry told The Undefeated. “I have to use that to my advantage being decisive and selective trying to get those 3s off. At the end of the day, that is not really the issue why we lost [Wednesday night].”
Reggie Miller and Chris Webber wondered during the TNT broadcast whether Curry was fully recovered from the sprained MCL that kept him out of the end of the regular season and the first six games of the playoffs. They suggested the lift on his shot was not what we’ve seen in past seasons.
“I feel good. I feel good,” Curry told The Undefeated. “It’s something that you can’t shake off because of how recent the injury was. But I’m out there. I feel great and I’m not worried about anything with my knee. I keep saying the same thing. I feel good.”
Either way, Curry now has three days to rest before Game 3 with the Warriors appearing to face their first legitimate threat in the two years since the acquisition of Kevin Durant.