Sight seen. Golden State Warrior star guard and league MVP Stephen Curry leaving the court after a loss by his team by the Cleveland Cavaliers 96 to 91 in game 3 of the NBA finals.
As Curry left the floor his head was down and shaking from side to side clearly displaying his disappointment in going down two games to one in this best of seven series.
Curry had his best game of the series leading his team with a game high 27 points but it was not enough to stymie Lebron James and the Cavs who through three games have somehow managed to control the tempo of each contest.
Who knows what was going through Curry’s mind at the time ? Maybe he wished he could be playing better or maybe his team mates could’ve upped their games ?
Nevertheless, walking off the court at the end of a key game with your head down was not good form.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are deliberate and physical and they have basically dictated the terms of battle. On defense the Cavs are jamming cutters and contesting shots. Power forward Tristan Thompson (pressed into duty after the season ending injury to starter Kevin Love) has been on a Moses Malone like tear in attacking the offensive glass.
The Cavs have successfully used their size advantage to discourage drives to the basket as they enjoyed a 44 to 36 advantage on points in the paint while holding the Warriors to 40% shooting overall.
On offense Lebron James enjoys dissecting the Warrior defense from the post as keeps the pressure on with strong moves to the basket and laser like passes to open team mates.
With the exception of Steph Curry the Warriors are a rhythm shooting team but in surrendering the pace and tone of the game the Warriors have allowed the Cavaliers to crack their offensive code.
To have a chance to even the series the Warriors will need to force Cavalier defenders, particularly Timofey Mozgov and Thristan Thompson to defend the entire floor.
To accomplish this the Warriors have to utilize more ball movement particularly from side to side while probing the defense for weaknesses.
On defense the Warriors need to assign two players to follow JR Smith and Iman Shumpert everywhere ( use crazy glue if needed).
To be fair, this series is a long ways from over but then I return to Mr. Curry walking off the floor with his head down.
You see part of the stark beauty of the Finals is that to win an NBA title a team must be willing to raise their level of intensity to near injury levels ( Cleveland is there) and most importantly, experience teaches that psychological tactics are in full effect.
Steph Curry’s gesture could very well just be an honest expression of disappointment but as the leader of his team he appeared defeated and that my friend, is never appropriate during the NBA Finals with your team watching. (Contrast Curry’s exit to LeBron leaving the court after a game one Cleveland loss. He was pissed and he was defiant)
If the Warriors can remember who they are while raising their level of intensity this could become really interesting really fast. But?
Who will win the prize ?