Curry needs a bigger role for Warriors

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com


VIDEO: Clippers-Warriors Game 6 preview

LOS ANGELES – In other Clippers-Warriors news, Stephen Curry is averaging 15 shots a game, had just 10 on Tuesday at Staples Center as Golden State reached the brink of elimination, and hasn’t stitched together back-to-back Curry-esque performances the entire first round.

The good thing for Curry is that the inconsistent play hasn’t received the usual attention because, um, something else is going on, and the encouraging note for all the Warriors is that they’re still in the series despite no confirmed sighting of their All-Star point guard who can carry a team. On the other hand, the Clippers are up 3-2 in the series and the Warriors’ season could end Thursday in Oakland, so this is no time to be feeling good about getting by.

“He knows he’s got to be better,” coach Mark Jackson said. “[Tuesday], he turned the ball over obviously a little too much. [The Clippers] did a good job being active in their pick-and-roll defense. The other night, he executed, he was aggressive. [In Game 4], at times he tried to thread the needle a little too much. We’ll make the adjustments and move forward, but I feel good about Steph and what he’s going to do on all accounts.”

Right on all accounts. Turnovers have been a problem, with eight in Game 5 and 22 in the series, just as they have been a problem all season for Curry in particular and the Warriors in general. Curry was 33-point, seven-assist, seven-rebound aggressive in Game 4, except that came just after 16 points on five-of-12 shooting (though he collected 15 assists) and just before 17 points on Tuesday to underline his struggles to have the same consistent impact as he did in the 2013 playoffs. There have been moments, but rarely beyond a quarter and never in back-to-back games.

Getting 10 shots, though, is an obvious problem. The Warriors, underdogs to begin with after finishing lower in the standings and now playing without the defense and snarly attitude of Andrew Bogut, really have no chance to advance if their offensive star is that neutralized.

Curry came close to that number on three-pointers alone in the regular season, 7.9. Overall, he got off 17.7 attempts per game. There is the factor of the slightly slower pace of the playoffs — the Warriors are down about three shots a game compared to the first 82 games — but 10 shots in a postseason contest is unacceptable for Curry no matter what. He’s the last guy who should lose looks.

“We still scored a hundred points,” Curry said after the 113-103 loss. “I’ll tell you one thing. We can’t win if DeAndre [Jordan] has 25. That’s for sure.”

Jordan did have 25 points, along with 18 rebounds and four blocks, in the latest example of the Clippers controlling the inside. Golden State has to do something about that as well.

“That’s just five guys playing better defense on possessions,” Curry said. “Putting a body on him and making sure he doesn’t get those garbage points — put-backs and alley-oops to the rim. He’s a difference maker if he’s allowed to do that in the paint. They’ve got a lot of talent offensively and if he has a big game then it’s tough.”

Jordan, mostly on defense and the boards, and Blake Griffin have bullied the Warriors much of the way,  and are an obvious factor in the 3-2 lead for the Clippers in the strangest series they’ll ever be part of. But Curry can’t have the second-most shots on the team, no matter how dangerous Klay Thompson is and especially not when Curry has played nearly 29 minutes more than Thompson. Then it’s really, really tough.

11 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Clippers win tonight. Series would have been over if sterling wasn’t in the picture. Face it, GSW had a gimmee in game 4. Any NBA team could have beat them that day. Clippers win tonight because they are driven and have outplayed the GSW every game except game 4.

  2. Blog-So-Hard says:

    The 2014 Golden State Warriors’ roster is not that deep….

  3. marlon green says:

    This is not the year for the Warriors, the Clippers are going to win in 7 games. If the Warriors had game 7 at home then maybe the outcome would be different.

  4. GSW4ever says:

    i still believe GSW can win this series..

  5. mike says:

    During this series, its more apparent how valuable Jarrettt Jack was to the Warriors. Playing Curry off the ball would relieve him of the pressure, as he is constantly being hounded when handling the ball the pick, resulting in turnovers. More often than not, it results in a fast break opportunity for the Clips. As much as I want the Warriors to win, I don’t see them pulling this one, especially without their defensive anchor Bogut.

  6. Kal says:

    How quickly they all forget…

    Curry & Jackson have done their job. Hopefully the Warriors can crack the Clippers D in game 6 and push the series the distance… but the Clippers are a really good, possibly great team…

    Scott Brooks has done truly great work with that Thunder team the past three years — including a finals appearance… Thunder just happened to draw a bad matchup with the Grizz.

    Gregg Popovich, coach of the year, has his Spurs team struggling to take out a Mavs team made up of garage sale players — Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Dirk & Vinsanity are basically a four man team challenging the West champs… Should the legendary Pop be fired too? No, it’s the playoffs — tough battles happen. It’s not all automatic math… unless you have a perfect roster…

    I agree with the guy up above who says both teams (Warriors and Thunder) need a post player… The Warriors especially just don’t have the roster (minus Bogut anyway) to get it done. The Thunder need Dwight Howard instead of Kendrick Perkins to win it all.

    Warriors are also missing Jarrett Jack right about now.

    #BlameManagement

  7. realist says:

    They really need to rethink Curry’s offensive approach, as the Clippers are doing a great job of trapping him off those high screen sets. Maybe getting the ball out of his hands more, use Iggy or Blake as the ball handler and run off-ball plays for Curry have him run past a screener for catch and shoots instead.

  8. Game Time says:

    Series isn’t over yet. The next Warriors home game you can expect them to go all out, but I want the Clippers to win this series. I think most likely it will go 7.

  9. Eaham says:

    Warriors and OKC both need a post offensive player. Eithe rof these team should make a run at Zach randolph this offseason or via trade if possible. He would really help these two teams out since they are crazy about taking jumpers and threes like the basket is big as the ocean

  10. okc2014 says:

    Mark Jackson is through, history, adios, goodbye.

    • realist says:

      Scott Brooks is just as through he cant coach that squad in the post season to save his life..