SAN ANTONIO — Like the rest of them, Stephen Curry said it was a learning experience.
So is dropping an anvil on your toe, but just because you claim it won’t happen again doesn’t stop you from hopping around on one foot.
If the Warriors are truly going to take the next step forward in their education and development, they will have to stop letting leads slip like fistfuls of jelly through their fingers and to learn about Curry himself — who he is and how his remarkable shooting and scoring talents can best be most effectively used.
While Carmelo Anthony’s shoulder, the Bulls’ hard noses and the above-the-rest offensive capabilities of LeBron James and Kevin Durant are headlines, the splendid splinter Curry has been the transcendent story of these playoffs. He’s the reason to stay up late, the reason to keep hitting “reverse” on the DVR just so you can re-watch another ridiculous 3-pointer and try to figure out how he did that.
Curry’s 44-point, 11-assist virtuoso effort in Game 1 seemed to push at the limit of what is possible only because he hasn’t played his next game. Yet at the end of the double-overtime classic, the numbers that mattered were 129-127 — the final score in favor of the Spurs and the 57 minutes and 56 seconds that he logged in a 58-minute game.
“We’re not gonna get discouraged at all,” Curry said. “It’s not going to be a depressed locker room. We’re excited about how we played considering the finish and looking forward to (Game 2).”
But before the Warriors fly hungrily toward the opening tip and try to pounce with another fireball of youth and energy at the start, there has to be more consideration in planning for the finish.
It is tempting (and probably necessary) to milk every last drop they can out of Curry in order to defeat a team as talented, deep and experienced as the Spurs. But as much as Curry lit the fuse to the Warriors’ explosive opening-game performance, he was unable to deliver when they needed him to close out the game. (more…)