It’s been rough NBA Finals series for the Golden State Warriors and especially for Stephen Curry. He hasn’t been the worst player on his team or even the most underachieving, but when things go wrong, it’s natural the eyes and fingers turn to a player who won the regular season MVP award.
USA Today published a nice article about MVPs in baseball and the NFL that didn’t really live up to the hype during the postseason, the World Series or the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning in the SB vs the Seahawks, Rich Gannon against the Buccaneers, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers in 2010 and Clayton Kershaw overall in the playoffs. According to Chris Chase, Steph Curry is putting up numbers that would make his performance one of the worst by a regular-season MVP in a Finals or final-game situation… if the Warriors lose, there’s a reasonable chance Steph Curry ends up on this list of worst finals performances by regular-season MVPS.
Curry, averaging 24 points on 39.7% from the field and 32.4% from beyond the arc in the finals (only three games, remember that) was actually terrible in just one of the games (Game 2), when he shot 5-of-23 from the field. He was 10-of-20 in each of the other games and his fourth quarter eruption in game 3, helping him reach 27 points overall, almost helped the Warriors complete a comeback from 20-points down in the third.
He also thinks that some things he saw during the fourth quarter, especially when David Lee was on the floor, allowing the team to finally run some successful Pick & Roll plays, opened up an opportunity to take advantage of in the next few games of the series, which could go to five, six or seven.
I think I found something when it comes to how I’m going to be able to attack their pick-and-rolls and even certain iso situations. I’ll keep that in the memory bank going into Game 4, and hopefully it has a trickle over effect into the first quarter of the next game.
Steve Kerr, who has been to quite a few NBA Finals as a player, doesn’t seem too worried about how Curry has been doing, but maybe he should be more concerned about his own performance in the matchup against David Blatt; a head-to-head he’s been losing for three games in a row, despite the win in the first game.
Steph never loses confidence. I just thought he lost a little energy and, I don’t know, life. We just need life from everybody. We need emotion from everybody.
The Warriors, despite their depth and overall talent, need to hope that Kerr is right, and all that’s stopping Curry from playing like an MVP is some energy, instead of the Cavaliers simply doing an excellent defensive job on him and Matthew Dellavedova getting under his skin.