It’s time for Curry to be great

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com


VIDEO:  The Warriors prepare for Game 3 at Oracle Arena

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — Stephen Curry from behind the arc. Stephen Curry runner off the glass. Stephen Curry driving layup with a finger-roll finish. Stephen Curry three-point play.

It was the third quarter Monday night, and it was on.

If it was already obvious to most that the Warriors would need their All-Star point guard to be more playoff sensation than ever to eliminate the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, it’s as if those 12 minutes inside Staples Center were when Curry accepted the fact as well. He couldn’t make a difference in a Game 2 that had long before gotten out of hand, eventually becoming a 138-98 victory for L.A. and a 1-1 series, but he could make a statement.

“It looked to me like Steph saying, ‘I’m going to get it going,’ ” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Tuesday before practice.

It was 20 points of statement in the quarter as part of 24 for the night, eight baskets in 11 shots of declaration, the way Curry put the Warriors on his back in his electric 2013 playoffs against the Nuggets and Spurs that vaulted an emerging player into a new level of attention. And the Clippers know it was probably just a coming attraction of the mindset Curry will have when the best-of-seven first round resumes Thursday in Oakland.

“You have to be extra on guard when Steph is in the building, period,” Rivers said. “Every night. What he did was he tried to make an adjustment to what we were doing. He was going before the picks were set. He was basically turning the game into an iso game, and he hurt us with it. That’s an area we have to improve on because we have to be ready for that. Steph is a great player, and he’s going to try to be great.”

With the third quarter of Game 2 as the running start.

“No doubt,” Rivers said. “I don’t like anybody making any shot, especially in a blowout. I got on our guys late because they allow a guy to make a three. To me, you don’t ever let anybody out of the box. If you got ‘em in something, keep ‘em in it. Don’t let them get comfortable. It’s different than the way they’ve played though. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. We’ll have to find that out.”

Welcome to Curry’s new world, the post-2013 one where he can’t afford to have bad showings for the Warriors to have a chance to win the series, especially with Andrew Bogut sidelined by a fractured rib and no update of when he could be ready to play. Avoiding bad showings is understating it, actually. Curry needs to be great, a flashback to the Denver-San Antonio days a year ago, as unguardable as any time in his career.

The third quarter Monday was a glimpse. Now the Warriors need the full version, for Curry to surf the wave of noise at Oracle Arena for Games 3 and 4 and take over. They need that for a lot of quarters.

“He’s going to have to be aggressive,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “I like that he got a rhythm and he was in attack mode. It’s tough because you’re trying to make the right plays and trust your teammates. They’re trapping him. They’re aggressive with him. But Steph is going to be fine. I really like the way he competed. He did what leaders do. He could very easily have folded his tent and looked forward to Game 3. But he battled and he established a rhythm.”

That has been a rarity for any Warrior in the series. They scored 109 points Saturday in the opener to win by four, but while committing 23 turnovers, with Curry contributing seven to go with just 14 points on six-of-16 shooting. That sloppy play oozed into 26 more turnovers Monday, though only two by their point guard in 31 minutes in addition to making nine of 17 attempts.

18 Comments

  1. Big Al says:

    Trade Curry for Westbrook and one OKC bench guy.

  2. okc2014 says:

    Either way, it’s a good series.

  3. Stephen Curry needs to show up like the best shooter in the NBA that he is because it will a bad look for his legacy and he will start to take a hit if he is mini me! In order for Klay Thompson to get going it hinges upon Stephen Curry getting it going! Wake up dude!

  4. blakangel says:

    Nobody can “get Griffin ejected”. Only his weak mental game can do that. Any team who plays the clippers would be foolish to not take advantage of that

  5. jimbo says:

    The warriors best defenders are Iguodala and Bogut. They are missing 50% of that tandem, so their chances of altering the Clippers game when the Clippers are on is 50% less than what it would normally be. Clips are too big and athletic for GS. I believe Curry could score 50 and the Warriors would still lose. Clips in 6.

  6. clew2020 says:

    The warriors have a good chance to win this series, the difference between the two teams is one is a physical inside the paint team and the other is a jumpshooting team. In most cases the team getting to the rack and shooting freethrows will win and that’ll more than likely be the clippers. The warriors have to get iggy and barnes involved more with some slashes and dribble drives in order to not be a one trick pony, pick and roll and curry shoots the three or over dribbles trying to make a play. Chris Paul is better at making sure his team gets a good shot and that is very key in the playoffs. And about physical play they have to do that ot people like Micheal Jordan, Blake Griffin, Lebron James, Shaq, etc. because those guys will dominate you so they do all they can and after that you just hope a hard foul would suffice.

  7. baynation30 says:

    Untalented teams flop and throw water at opposing fans.

  8. slider821 says:

    At least Mark Jackson acknowledged that the Clips are trapping Curry at the top on the picknroll…question is, does he make any adjustments to that? He’s be slow and even reluctant in adjusting to the defense and that stubbornness could cost the Warriors in this series. I’m suprised he didn’t expect Doc to trap after game 1.

    Since DLee’s midrange consistency is gone, the picknpop is no longer there. And Warriors still have their cutters and slashers standing around ball watching when Curry gets trapped. It feels like there are no adjustments made and that speaks a lot about Mark Jackson as a coach.

  9. ciugaz says:

    Warriors need a lot of stuff if they want to have a chance to win the series : play with more intensity and energy, stop the usual deluge of turnovers, all the team has to step up as it was in game 1…and of course Steph Curry at his best!

    • Game Time says:

      The almost lost game one and it was a combination of poor shooting from the Clippers plus foul trouble for Blake that helped them steal it. Klay and Curry were not that great in game 1. If Blake stays out foul trouble and Clippers limit Curry and Klay’s 3pt shots then Clippers will win the series.

  10. nguragai says:

    warriors will sweep LA with a broom. GOOOOO WARRIORS

    • RTV says:

      how can they sweep???, the best is 4-1 read-up moron
      got beef??? I’m Miran C from Scarborough , Ontario

  11. jdub455 says:

    Steph is great… he was the only warrior who played up to his par in the 2nd game. The clips just played with much more intensity and desire and the warriors just quit! Bogut and Jarrett Jack is a big loss… but craziest fans in GS will help them,, you can do it guys, play through the crowds energy! Get the 3-1 advantage, you still have the upperhand! Go warriors!

  12. AnnoYouLater says:

    if you look at it, LA should win this series, having great post players and GSW not having their 7 foot shot blocker…but they could steal this series if klay makes atleast half of his shot…i watch a lot of GSW games and they usually lose when klay struggles and that happens a lot

  13. #30 says:

    Go Warriors! beat the floppers!

    • UNTALENTED TEAMS PLAYS DIRTY AND TAKE CHEAT SHOTS LIKE THE WARRIORS AND BULLS says:

      WARRIORS ARE JEALOUS OF THE TALANT AND SUPER STARDOM OF BLAKE GRIFFEN THAT’S WHY THEY TRY TO PLAY DIRTY AND GET UNDER HIS SKIN KUS THE GIRL WARRIORS KNOW THEY CAN’T BEAT THE CLIPPERS FAIR AND SQUARE

      • xellex says:

        I agree with #30.
        Not sure if the Worriors quite fall in that category, but resorting to physicality as a last and ungraceful resort, is what teams lacking skill, talent, creativity, quickness, difference-making star players or alternatively a coherent and well coordinated team play, do. I have always disgusted the dirty, clumpsy, thuggish outlet over the fair, clean and resourceful approach. That speaks so bad of these teams! The Bulls now and the Pistons yesterday are within the trouble-making filthy groups, not really fun to watch. I’ll make the diffrence that Detroit had some isolated talent in Thomas, but he quickly tarnished it by giving up to the ruggish play, they were lucky Jordan was not experienced and strong enough from 1988 to 1990 among other things, but hadn’t the NBA been so slack those days with this type of play the Chicago Bulls would probably have won 10 Championships, counting the years Michael stepped away from the game.

        I will always reject musle or brawn over wits and brains, even when of course, basketball is a phisical business.

      • Game Time says:

        The Bulls today play tough defense. Not necessarily dirty like the Bad Boy Pistons. The Warriors on the other hand have resorted to blatant flagrant fouling in attempts to get Griffin ejected on several occasions. That to me is disgusting and shows how sorry you think your team is.