The Next Step For Stephen Curry

 

HANG TIME WEST – Now we know for sure Stephen Curry has hit the big time. Not because he threw the Warriors on his back in the playoffs, the ultimate superstar move, not because he did it playing hurt, and not even because praise as the best shooter in the game is practically coming nonstop.

It’s because the Nuggets are getting physical with him.

There is no greater status symbol than a player who demands extra attention from the opponent, and Curry is there as the first-round series returns to Oakland tonight (10:30 ET, TNT) with Golden State holding a 3-2 lead and trying to close out. That hasn’t just been the case since the rowdy Game 5, either. The Nuggets have been crowding him from the beginning. Tuesday in Denver was merely the continuing escalation.

The move by Kenneth Faried of the Nuggets to trip Curry was a cheap tactic, especially given Curry’s history of ankle problems, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson went over the top with the statement that Denver sent hit men after Curry. Or at least that’s what it sounded like Jackson said over the laughter of Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Kevin McHale and Rick Mahorn. And Kurt Rambis’ neck says hello, too.

The series had turned testy long ago, since the Andrew Bogut-JaVale McGee scrape in Game 3 led to Bogut pointing to his chin while close to McGee, daring McGee to take a poke. In the regular season, it would have been a passing moment. In a long playoff series, it’s a layer in the rising tensions.

“If there’s a scorecard and we’re in a boxing fight right now, they’re winning the fight,” Nuggets coach George Karl told reporters in Denver. “OK, we won a round (here and there), but I’m going to tell you, I’ll go to any arbiter now and show the dirty shots — they’re winning.

“Some of them are really good at the things they do. Andrew Bogut started it; the (Draymond) Green kid is really good at it; and Festus (Ezeli) is pretty good too…. Check the elbow to Ty Lawson‘s head with 20 seconds to go in the second quarter. Check that one out.”

Curry and the Warriors — and especially Jackson, the former veteran point guard — could not have been surprised this was coming, even if they were bothered by the extent. Of course the Nuggets, with the benefit of bigger wing defenders to throw at Curry, were going to get physical with him. Any playoff opponent would have tried the same thing, only without Corey Brewer and Andre Igoudala.

Don’t be surprised at an early technical tonight by the officiating crew headed by Danny Crawford, one of the best, to send a message it will keep order. Don’t be surprised if both sides remain aggressive and the crowd at Oracle Arena, passionate anyway, is especially riled. But most of all, don’t be surprised this has happened with Curry.

20 Comments

  1. Draymond Green new superstar says:

    Warriors fan here :) Kinda disappointed at the bad officiating on game 6. Even though I’m on the warriors side, im not that biased enough to realize those uncalled fouls on the denver players and worse si when Faried got a 2? consecutive fouls in the 3rd quarter. man, that one call was clearly not a foul.

  2. Draymond Green new superstar says:

    I am a warriors fan since

  3. RocketsThunderFan says:

    Impressed that GSW beat Denver. Didn’t think that would happen even though I think Curry is incredible at times. Spurs vs. GSW might be a better series than people expect.

    • Marco29 says:

      Agreed. I thought Denver would win this series having the home court so, congrats to GSW for winning it. Next round against the Spurs should be interesting if everybody is healthy on both sides. Curry-Parker is a great matchup and I hope we will see Lee vs Duncan and Bogut vs Splitter. Both teams are quite deep and have good coaches. Should be a close series. Maybe experience, defense and home court will be a plus for SA. I would say SA wins in 6.

  4. NateD says:

    Once this series is over, if the warriors win…That will just make their victory much more sweeter! Enough said

  5. dattebayo says:

    The next step for Stephen Curry is to man up. And MJax should stop whining about the physical play on the floor when his team is getting all those flagrant fouls…

  6. Rxmart2 says:

    Jeez why do writers keep calling it a cheap shot? CHECK THE OTHER ANGLE… Clearly, clearly (as MJax would put it), a shoulder check.

    The play is 20 seconds in:

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/were-nuggets-playing-dirty

    • BIGMatta23 says:

      Agreed. Nothing in that really, it’s just that Curry is scrawny and thought he was in high school playing against 14 year olds. This is the big leagues fella, you better man up and stay alert.

  7. Patty says:

    MARK JACKSON IS AN EXCELLENT COACH WHO HAVE DONE VERY WEEL WITH HIS TEAM.

    GO WARRIORS!!!

  8. Patty says:

    CURRY IS A BRILLANT SHOOTER AND PLAYER.

    SOME OF THE PLAYERS ON THE DENVER NUGGETS ARE THUGS.

  9. googergieger says:

    Bogut keeps leaning into people on screens. Gave Iggy whiplash with one. He almost pulled the arm out of Fournier’s socket when he was fighting over a screen and Bogut yanked it back. Heck Lawson gets hit way worse than Curry as he actually goes to the paint not just shoot jump shots. Curry constantly kicks his legs out and does a lot of other petty stuff. Warriors have been dirty the whole series. Only now has Denver decided to answer back and now people are talking about Denver being dirty?! The bias and hypocrisy is palpable. Jackson is a known hypocrite. He’s done worse. His team has done worse. And even in his personal life he has come out the hypocrite. To not only defend, but validate his point is what is wrong with this “sport” and culture in general. Denver didn’t whine, so what happens? Nothing. Golden State does whine and what happens? They get a pat on the back and in tonight’s game will be rewarded for it by getting EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong Karl has been back to his old self this series and showing why he is a horrible play off coach, but the hypocrisy almost trumps that entirely.

  10. NateD says:

    I honestly thought before Coach Karl was fine, and players like faried but now i dont know…The dremond green shot he talked about didn’t make it to the news like faried’s cheap shot…And instead of taking the fall and saying it was on purpose WHICH it was, blames the warriors players to make it seem balanced.

  11. Bstarr says:

    Never thought I would be saying this, but Mark Jackson did whine too much about it and Stephen Curry needs to accept some cheap shots in the game. If you are good you will be hated and your opponent will use some dirty tricks to stop you.

    But these were not THATdirty so get over it! So go NUGGETS!! We don’t want whiners in the next round. We want to see battles on the floor! Thats why I’m hoping for Heat – Bulls in the next round too.

    May the best warrior teams proceed to the next round!

    Bstarr

    • slider821 says:

      Agreed, I was dreading a sensationalist HT article about the words back and forth after game 5. This is playoff basketball and I’m a Warriors fan and don’t think anything was over the top. Play ball.

      That being said, I’m glad this blog post wasn’t over the top with rhetoric about dirty plays etc. For once, Scott, a decent article. thanks

      bstarr; thoughtful post. Agreed Jackson whined too much. I want to say it was part seige tactic to get the refs to call a tighter game and get his team to band together even more. The plays were not more dirty than should be expected in the playoffs.

  12. Max says:

    S.Curry is allowing his ability to play the game of Basketball, to blow up his own self importance. Lot like Westbrook. Some can keep their heads (like LBJ) and some start to believe they are NOT replaceable. I have watched Curry put his hand on his hip and swish across a B.B. Court and roll his eyes. Not, SMART. Too much HOT AIR in believing just how great he must be, the media is feeding him and he is drinking their cool aide. Look how many that have fallen for the belief in their own greatness! Just one ACL and do not forget the present draft. Look what turned up at the Kings in last year’s draft. Curry is good, but anyone can get too full of themselves and fall off the great wheel. Ask Iverson how quick that can happen, better to enjoy the game and stay humble. Curry’s Father should know the signs and have a long talk with his over the hill “HOT AIR SON”.ANYONE CAN BE REPLACED OR AN INJURY CAN END THAT GREAT CAREER. BETTER TO ENJOY THE GAME AND STAY HUMBLE!!~

    • Huh? says:

      If the media is feeding Curry why wasn’t he an All Star you clown. This is the most ignorant rant I have ever read.

    • gritsngravy21 says:

      Could steph curry be more humble absolutely but nobody should have to tolerate targeted cheap shots. Kenneth faried is 6’8 240, and could have easily pushed curry when he was coming through the lane to send him a message. But to kick a guy in his ankle that everyone knows is twisted is a punk move.

  13. KC says:

    Trying to hurt players should be punishable by not only an ejection, but a suspension on top of that too. This should be basketball, not boxing. What happened to Russell Westbrook was a freak accident that might just have opened the door for Houston to slip by OKC, but I fear other teams have learned the wrong lesson from that incident. It is NOT OK to try to hurt the other team’s star player to win a game. A technical is not enough. Players attempting it should immediately be suspended for the next X games, if not the rest of the season. Teams that obviously have it as part of their strategy should receive stiff fines and / or be disqualified from the playoffs. Intention is hard thing to gauge, but some of these fouls just weren’t right.

    • Charliemyboy says:

      Yes, but they just can’t do that to Bogut. I know he pushed Faried down from his neck, but GS really needs him; so please don’t suspend Boggy. Remember when Kevin Love knocks Faried down from the back and then accidently ran into McGee’s errant elbow on the next play? Oh, btw, Love was out with a concussion. This is playoffs, so anything within control should be expected. These are gladiators, not Curry crybabies.