Kurtenbach: The Warriors can’t wait on Stephen Curry any longer

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) argues a call with an official while playing against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. The Houston Rockets defeated the Golden State Warriors 127-105. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

HOUSTON — Stephen Curry has created so much magic for the Warriors over his nine-year NBA career, and he has two championships and two league MVP awards to prove it.

The 30-foot 3-point shots, the crazy acrobatics under the rim, the infectious joy that he brings to the game — there’s no one else in the NBA who has a set of spells quite like Curry.

But since Curry has come back from his left knee injury at the beginning of the month, he hasn’t been able to find his wand.

Curry has made himself useful in other ways for the Warriors while he’s tried to re-establish his game — setting screens, deflecting passes creating space for teammates, focusing on his defense — and he, his teammates, and his coaches all agree that a breakout is looming.

The Warriors really could have used that breakout on Wednesday.

Two days after stealing the Rockets’ home-court advantage behind an inspired performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors let their guard down and were punished mightily by a Houston team that played with more heart, rhythm, and composure en route to a 127-105 Game 2 victory.

As such, this series will head back to Oakland tied at 1-1. Not bad in the big picture for the Warriors, but no doubt disappointing — the Warriors had a chance Wednesday to practically end this series and didn’t come close to taking it.

Instead, we saw the Rockets establish that they are as good as they were advertised to be coming into this series — the showed that their limp Game 1 performance isn’t the only way they can play. This is a team that the Warriors cannot mess around and expect to beat, and in Game 2, everyone wearing white, yellow, and blue but Kevin Durant messed around.

Durant held up his end of the bargain in Game 2, scoring 38 points on nearly 60 percent shooting, and he kept the Warriors within striking distance after the team jumped out to a poor start, turning the ball over seven times in the first quarter.

But no one else was able to strike.

Curry wasn’t the only Warrior who failed to perform Wednesday, but his lackluster performance is the most noteworthy. He was outscored by Rockets’ role players PJ Tucker and Trevor Ariza, netting only 16 points, shooting only 36 percent from the field, and making only one of eight 3-point attempts.

“Obviously it wasn’t Steph’s best night,” Kerr said. “I’m not worried about Steph… He’s feeling good… He’s getting better. I thought he played a lot better in Game 1 than anybody gave him credit for.”

Curry deserved plaudits for the little things he did in Game 1, but the time for little things is over for Curry. The Warriors are facing a real threat in the Rockets and the Warriors need their original superstar — the man from whom all of this success emanates — to come up big in Game 3 and beyond.

When Curry was out of the lineup, the Warriors …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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