After his immense performance in Boston in Game 4 (43 points), how Stephen Curry could he do so well? Was he still going to touch the summits? In this Game 5, the Warriors playmaker had one of his most memorable matches.
But not really in the right way. Indeed, by finishing with an 0/9 at 3-pts, the Golden State star did not find the target behind the arc for the first time in his career in a playoff game!
Impact, even without scoring at 3-pointers
We even have to go back to November 8, 2018, or 233 games in a row, to see him finish an NBA game without having hit 3-pts… That is to say if it is historic for the best shooter of all time.
“Of course, as a shooter, that does not satisfy me”confirmed Stephen Curry at a press conference, after finishing Game 5 with 16 points at 7/22 on the shoot. “We always want to have an impact in this area. We overcame a 9/40 at 3-pts for the team and a 0/9 for me while still winning. I can’t wait to bounce back. »
If Ime Udoka had announced, before the meeting, that he did not want to change his defensive strategy on the 2015 and 2016 MVP, the Celtics clearly did not leave Stephen Curry as much space as before. The defense was more aggressive and the shooter was often forced to try his luck too far.
“I knew there would be adjustments in defense on the pick-and-roll, because I had open shots. They were sharper, higher on the pick-and-roll”analyzes the top scorer in the Finals, with an average of 30.6 points. “I didn’t have as many attempts and, as you can see, I didn’t put anything in it. The rest of the time, I used their aggression against them. I went into the racket, and I didn’t lose my aggressiveness even without my usual address. »
Eight assists, one lost ball
With 8 assists and only a small lost ball, the triple champion made up for his clumsiness. Lately, Steve Kerr has been emphasizing his point guard’s defense, which he feels is too underrated, and this time Stephen Curry has focused on other facets of his game, overshadowed by his outside shooting prowess.
“My shoot is what people notice first. Still. I can’t do anything against that. But when you look at the matches, it’s not just about that. We respond to the opposing defense and we try to have good shots. And I know I have a huge impact on that, that good things usually happen whether I score or not. I have confidence, I know that I don’t have to push too hard in certain situations. Sometimes I do, but this game proved that I could have impact and get the attention of the defense without even putting in a winning shot. I’m proud of it. »
The right to miss out, the desire to bounce back in Game 6
The Warriors won this important Game 5 and after scoring 31, 29, 34 and 43 points in these Finals, Stephen Curry was able to count on a collective to support him during his difficult evening, with Andrew Wiggins obviously (26 points), the best player of the game, but also Klay Thompson (21), Draymond Green (8), Gary Payton II (15) and Jordan Poole (14 points).
“I think Stephen probably had the right to make such a match”announces Steve Kerr. “He was shooting so well until now that we knew that at one time or another, he would have a complicated evening. Even the best shooter in the world can experience matches like this. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often. Boston’s defense did a great job. They put more pressure on him at the start of the pick-and-rolls. We expected it. Afterwards, he missed open shots too. It’s always a combination of the two. »
The coach, like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, therefore expects a reaction from his superstar in the next game. Stephen Curry never stays awkward for very long and with the prospect of the title and a very likely Finals MVP trophy, if successful, at the end of Game 6 in Boston, he has even more reason to wake up.
“I like to see Stephen react after a match like that, I like his ability to bounce back”, comments Steve Kerr. ” I know he will answer. He will think about the shots he missed and that’s a good thing. I hope he gets back to his classic average and it’s scary when he does that.”continues Klay Thompson. “It will be reassembled for Game 6, that’s exactly what we need”concludes Draymond Green.