Stephen Curry made headlines after the heartbreaking Game 1 loss of the Spurs, and quickly earned every sports journalist in the world’s respect, with some people (not me) putting him as the clear best player in the postseason. Klay Thompson had an amazing Game 2, hitting 8-9 three-pointers, probably breaking some record for threes in a half.
But other than those two individual performances, the so called Splash Brothers (or more appropriately, the Drip Brothers) have been ice cold from the field.
Curry is ‘only’ shooting 34.4% (11/32) from beyond the arc, and a dismal 34.8% (23/66) overall. Klay Thompson is 27.2% from the three point line (3/11) and shooting 39.3% overall (22/56)
After being widely accepted as the league’s greatest three-point shooting backcourt ever, Curry and Thompson have just looked way below average.
What is the reason for this? Injuries? Fatigue? A shooting slump?
The answer is all three of the above, but most importantly, the adjustments that the Spurs have made. It is not a coincidence at all that while Steph and Klay struggle, Jack and Barnes have good games. Danny Green has given Curry all sorts of trouble, and Kawhi Leonard has done wonders on Klay Thompson. By containing the two most dangerous guys on the court and leaving it up to whoever the hell wants to carry the rest of the offense (in this case, a rookie), the Spurs have successfully slowed the pace of the game to one they are comfortable with- execution, and grind-it-out Spurs basketball. And you wonder why Popovich has 4 rings.
What should Golden State look to do to force Game 7? The Harrison Barnes on small guard match-up is no longer just a match-up they should look the exploit. It should be the new game-plan. As ballsy as it sounds, running the offense through a rookie in a playoff game against a 16-year basketball powerhouse may be the only way to go for these Warriors.
Mark Jackson may even look to giving David Lee extended minutes if that is the only way to go. This Warriors team will be able to hang on on defense just by their athleticism and hustle alone, but they need new sources of help on offense, hopefully forcing some adjustments to the Spurs gameplan and freeing up Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
But honestly, whatever the hell happens Game 6, Warriors fans finally have something to look forward to. I also spent $330 on lower level Game 6 tickets so the Warriors better fucking win.