San Francisco – Steve Curry has done a bunch of Steve Curry things.
Score, bounce, pass, defend. Yes, motivate.
He ran all over the field, creating an offensive and defensive effect. Yes, defensively.
Raised the home crowd with 3-point shooting.
He had 29 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, and his performance in Game 2 of the NBA Finals led the Golden State Warriors to a 107-88 win against the Boston Celtics, an evening best 7-in-1 streak.
“He was amazing and most importantly his decision was fantastic,” said Warriors striker Draymond Green. “He got off the ball. He didn’t get into traffic. He took what the defense gave him.”
In the Warriors’ third quarter 35-14, Curry had 14 points, made three three-pointers and was a key factor during a late 19-2 quarter that opened a six-point game and made it 87-64 as the Warriors headed into the final frame.
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“Steve was breathtaking that quarter,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Not just the making of the shot, but the defensive effort. It just doesn’t get enough credit for the level of fitness, fitness, and defense.”
As much as Curry’s attack is often the talk, his coach and teammates wanted to rave about his defense.
“People go to him to try and stress him out because they know how offensively he is to us, and that difference is very exciting in Steve’s strength and body in his body now compared to what it was eight years ago when I first got here,” he said. “So the guy is amazing. He keeps working on his game, his strength, his conditioning year after year, and I’m happy to watch him play every night.”
Teams have been trying to pick Curry defensively for years, and the Celtics want to get Curry into as many mismatches as possible – both in terms of size and strength – with Jason Tatum, Jaylene Brown and even Marcus Smart. But warriors believe he is a capable defender.
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“I’ve been talking about it in the last couple of years, how much he’s improved on that side of the ball,” Green said. “Teams have been trying to call him up in every action and try to catch him. It just doesn’t work anymore. He sits, he guards and we’re all behind him if he needs help. But he didn’t. I needed that a lot, which was great.”
“You talked about how strong he is. He’s resilient, so you can’t take him away, and that was a huge thing for us. I wasn’t shocked because he’s playing that kind of defense. He’s been doing that, like I said, for the past two years.”
Warriors believe Curry has the strength and stamina to play both ends of the earth at a high level in every game. Curry, who never won MVP in the Finals, averages 31.5 points and shoots 46.2% in 3 seconds over two games. He was so disappointed about losing Game 1, he said he had lost sleep.
Carrie Sad: “If you’re not down about it, if you’re not in your feelings, that’s a problem because it doesn’t matter.” “You’re supposed to. You have to feel it.”
After two games of the series, it’s clear that the Warriors need Curry to take the offensive burden more than they did in the past Finals when they also had a different Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.
In the series, Thompson’s offense hasn’t even existed yet, with only 49 games back from the knee and Achilles injuries that kept him sidelined in the 2019-20 and 2020-20 seasons. Jordan Bowl’s playing in the first NBA Finals may not be reliable enough in every game. It is a combination of scoring from several players.
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“This year, there is definitely a need for me to be aggressive throughout the match, to create, to get attention, to get shots and to keep putting pressure,” Curry said. “Obviously, things went well in the first two games. I don’t know what it would look like on the road, the rest of the streak. It’s always about trusting the ball in my hands and making my play.”
We know Curry can score like this. In the 30 finals of his career, he averaged 26.8 points, and had 34 in Boston’s first game win.
“Our insult is always too much for Steve,” Green said. “It all starts with Steve. When KD was here, our attack started with Steve. That’s how it’s going to be.”
If Curry had a night in the previous Finals, the Warriors would have had a more dynamic recording with Durant and Thompson. Can the Warriors keep winning while demanding so much from Curry?
Kerr doesn’t think it’s a problem.
“We’re quite capable of winning games where Steve doesn’t have a big night,” Kerr said. “It just means the other players have to step up and score for us. But that’s something they’ve been doing all year.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steph Curry’s offense isn’t the talk of the NBA Finals: “Guy’s amazing”