Category: Warriors Basketball

The scripted chaos of Stephen Curry

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Like a seasoned yogi realizing he can deepen his stretch, there is a zen-like quality to Stephen Curry’s exacting hunt for the perfect shot.

On Sunday against the Nets, he continued his streak of making at least five threes in the first seven games of the season, breaking the record George McLoud set in 1995. Curry is on pace to shatter the single-season record in three-pointers made, which he set at 402 in 2015-2016, which shattered his own the previous record of 286 in 2014-15, which shattered his own previous record of 272 in 2012-13.

In the offseason, he told the Wall Street Journal, “I might be delusional, but I feel like I can get better at putting the ball in the basket.” His personal trainer, Brandon Payne, added that “he’s not even close” to his peak. Together, to hear it from Pablo Torre on ESPN’s High Noon, Curry and Payne devised a drill in which Curry had to hit 20 sets of shots, differing in spot and style, from the perimeter, and swish six of 10 free throws. It was called “Perfection.”

Up against the Warriors’ decadence, tried-and-true theories about the professional athlete’s insatiable drive fall away. It’s hard not to wonder why they’re not satisfied when they’re already deemed unbeatable. What an extravagance. And what do they have left to improve?

But the difficulty of Curry’s shots aren’t mere theatre. If he wants to actually shoot the ball, defenses are going to force the world’s best decoy to chase perfection and master chaos.

Consider: Opponents would rather allow Kevin Durant to play one-on-one against mismatches and let Jordan Bell throw down alley-oops than allow Curry to shoot threes. Hell, they’d rather let him get lay ups: the Warriors often free Curry up by running him off screens as he cuts to the rim, usually as a fake-out before he sprints to the corner pocket. Against the Jazz on Oct. 19, Curry was aggressively chased off the three-point line by Dante Exum and hounded on pick and rolls by Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert, whose 7’9 wingspan gave Curry pause. They tugged at his jersey and laid him out with hard screens. Royce O’Neale even gave him a nosebleed. Curry didn’t hit a three until more than halfway through the second quarter, on a uniquely unguardable play illustrated by NBA analyst Jared Dubin.

Curry tried to push the game to devolve into chaos, his high-risk way of forcing the issue: boxing out for offensive rebounds, throwing dangerous outlets, whipping rainbow passes across the floor. But the Jazz’s length, athleticism, and discipline tipped the scales in their balance, up until Jonas Jerebko’s game-winning putback for the Warriors.

As though he took note, Curry had, to put it lightly, more success against the Wizards on Oct. 24, scoring 51 points and drilling 11 threes. The Wizards tried to switch and trap Curry mercilessly, forcing the ball out of his hands. The only problem: he got rid of it by flinging it into the basket.

READ MORE: https://www.sbnation.com/2018/10/31/18047242/stephen-curry-highlights-golden-state-warriors-mvp

Golden State Warriors parade set for Thursday in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Aftwarriorser a night of celebrating the Golden State Warriors latest NBA title, fans snapped up victory shirts and hats Tuesday, while Oakland crews were busy hanging championship banners along the parade route. The parade will take place Thursday morning in downtown Oakland, following the same route as the team’s parade to celebrate the 2015 NBA title. It will start at 10 a.m. at Broadway and 11th Street, wind through downtown streets and end with a procession to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. Fans are encouraged to line up for the parade and rally as soon as 5 a.m. Thursday and taking public transportation is encouraged. Following the victory Monday night, warriors’ fans danced in the streets in downtown Oakland and wildly honked their horns in San Francisco. The party began as soon as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 at Oracle Arena to clinch their second championship in three years. In San Francisco, people hung out of cars waving blue and gold flags.

Across the bay, in downtown Oakland, about 1,000 people celebrated in the streets, but most were peaceful. Crowds gathered in intersections, including one where cheering fans made a circle to watch several men break dance. Some climbed street lights, some sprayed champagne and some threw bottles leaving broken glass in streets. Others set off fireworks.

One car was damaged when fans jumped on its roof, police said. Police issued more than 40 citations and towed at least 30 cars that were driving recklessly on city streets following the win, according to Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson. Between 400 and 500 spectators and vehicles participated in “sideshow” activity in East Oakland on Monday night and some revelers threw rocks and bottles at officers, though no serious injuries were reported. The Warriors won the title in 2015 before the Cavaliers made their historic comeback last year. Then it was Golden State’s turn again, taking the title in five games.

N.B.A. Finals: Warriors Stun Cavs With Late Surge to Win Game 3

08cavs4-jumboIn an absolutely stunning defeat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had led for much of the second half, fell apart in the closing seconds of Game 3 of the N.B.A. finals and ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors, 118-113. Golden State, after an 11-0 run at the end of the game, now has a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.

In the final 3 minutes and 10 seconds of Game 3, the Cavaliers saw their chances of an upset in these finals essentially evaporate. The Warriors closed the game on a huge run that was all Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, with Durant’s 26-foot 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining putting the team on top to stay, 114-113.

The run seemed to come out of nowhere, with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving dominating for much of the second half, combining for 77 points in the game. The two-man dominance was simply not enough, even with a solid effort from J.R. Smith, thanks to the Warriors’ stacked lineup. Klay Thompson, Durant and Curry combined for 87 points, with Durant leading the way with 31 and Curry improbably tying Kevin Love as the game’s top rebounder with 13.

With the win, the Warriors have now extended their postseason record to 15 consecutive games, and in Friday’s Game 4 have a chance to be the first team to complete a postseason undefeated. Needless to say, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the N.B.A. finals. But if there is a glimmer of hope for the stunned Cavaliers, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit until last year when Cleveland did that against Golden State.

Steph Curry becomes first player to make 400 3-pointers in an NBA season

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The Golden State Warriors are on their way their 73rd victory of the season, and Stephen Curry hit an equally preposterous milestone Wednesday. With his eighth 3-pointer of the game against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors guard and reigning Most Valuable Player has made 400 3s on the season.

This has never been done before. Curry is the only player to even hit 300 3-pointers in a single season. He did that more than a month ago.

Last year, Curry made 286 3-pointers. That’s second all-time. Third is his teammate, Klay Thompson, this season. He’s made 276, including four on Wednesday.

This season, the Milwaukee Bucks made a total of 433 3-pointers. Three years ago, the Memphis Grizzlies made 382. No one has ever played the game remotely like Curry, and that’s why no one else has come close to reaching this record.

“Early in my career, I didn’t even like to shoot,” Steve Nash told Bruce Arther of the Toronto Star in December. “Different coaches had been imploring me to shoot, but you know, I’m a people pleaser. My mentality was, if I had a tough shot I would take it in the fourth quarter. I think Steph says, I make shots. So he’s constantly pushed the envelope of what kind of shots he can take.

“It’s almost like I didn’t know what Steph is doing was possible. Because I’d never seen it. He’s taken the things that those ahead of him did, and expanded on them at a rate that’s unbelievable. Some of the shots he takes, 10 or 20 years ago you would have said, what is he doing? I think he’s the most skilled player we’ve ever had, as far as all-around skill.”

Nash is one of Curry’s main influences, and he was one of the best and most creative players of his generation. Nash is also one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, a member of the 50-40-90 club. For years, Curry has been compared to Nash because of his style and skill level. In Nash’s 18 seasons in the NBA, though, he never made more than 179 3-pointers in a season. Four hundred? He never even attemped that many — his season high was 381 attempts.

Curry will soon join Nash, now a special assistant to the Warriors, as a two-time MVP. He’s also firmly established himself as the best shooter who has ever lived. The ones who came before him couldn’t even imagine this.

Just One More for Curry and Bryant

13CURRYKOBE-COMBO-master675OAKLAND, Calif. — On his way to fulfilling his obligations for a news media maw that included roughly 20 television cameras, Stephen Curry turned to a staff member who was with him during his rookie 2009-10 season. Curry was struck by how much things had changed.

“Another ’09-type scrum,” Curry joked.

It was a different time, of course. Curry recalled that the Golden State Warriors were essentially out of the playoff picture by the All-Star break. Nobody was talking about records or legacies. His face was not splashed on magazine covers. He was merely trying to survive the grind of a taxing profession and improve.

On Tuesday, Curry and his teammates prepared for the opportunity to make more history. With a win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday at Oracle Arena, the Warriors (72-9) will own the N.B.A. record for victories in a single season, breaking their tie with the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who went 72-10.

“To be in this position is special,” Curry said, adding: “It’s a reminder of how far we’ve come. My first three years, we didn’t make the playoffs. So your perspective is a little different.”

If nothing else, the final day of the regular season will have some flair. As the Warriors close out their chase, Kobe Bryant is expected to appear in his final game when the Los Angeles Lakers host the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. Bryant, 37, announced in November that he would retire at the end of the season, his 20th with the Lakers.

Bryant won his fifth and final championship when Curry was a first-year player with the Warriors. But even as their careers overlapped for the past seven seasons, they are headliners of different eras, the slow erosion of Bryant’s game coinciding with Curry’s sharp emergence.

After Tuesday’s practice, Curry sounded almost wistful about the season and everything the Warriors had achieved. Curry recalled that when the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich coached the Western Conference All-Stars in February, he gave a little speech in which he reminded the players to slow down and appreciate the present. The message stuck with Curry.

“It’s human nature at times to let your mind drift off,” Curry said, “but it cheats the beauty of what’s going on right now. It’s kind of like society in general — so fast paced. You’re always wondering about what’s going on next, what I have to do next — tomorrow, next week, next month.”

The Warriors are a relatively young team, and there is an understandable tendency to imagine their future and all the possibilities. What else can they accomplish? Curry wants to guard against that instinct. There are no guarantees — ask Bryant about the toll of injuries, about the turnover of team personnel — and the Warriors may never again find themselves in a position to hunt another record as fabled as the one held by the Michael Jordan-era Bulls.

“I didn’t understand how hard the 72 wins in the N.B.A. really was until I got into the N.B.A.,” Luke Walton, an assistant coach for the Warriors, said, “and then I remember thinking to myself that the record will never be touched because it’s just too hard to win that consistently. And for our guys to do what they’ve done all season is just incredible.”

It goes a long way toward explaining why Curry and teammates like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have refused to miss a game down the stretch. It has become a thornier issue for the coaching staff. Walton acknowledged that Coach Steve Kerr’s late-season calculus would have been a lot of different if not for the team’s pursuit of 73 wins.

“The downside is normally none of our starters would be playing,” Walton said. “Because of what we’ve accomplished this season, and our guys saying they want to go for the record, our minds can’t switch strictly to that championship goal until after this game is over.”

On Tuesday, Kerr missed practice because of a doctor’s appointment, Walton said. Aside from Kerr’s absence, though, it was a fairly typical morning for the Warriors here at their training complex. They watched game film, worked on fundamentals and avoided any mention of the number 73, at least until they fielded about a bazillion questions from reporters.

“You can’t not talk about it at this point,” Green said. “The whole world is talking about it now. It’s everywhere. There’s no way to hide from it.”

The Warriors seemed pretty loose, all things considered. Several members of the Los Angeles Angels, including Mike Trout, attended practice. Celebrity cameos are a regular occurrence with the Warriors. It was no big deal.

“Talented guys in their trade,” Curry said. “So it’s pretty cool for them to come out and watch us practice.”

Bryant, who seems to study the game’s history as much as any player, has encouraged Curry and his teammates to pursue history, to collect championships. And on a night when Bryant says he will conclude his career, the Warriors will go about their own business — and continue to press forward.

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“In Chicago, they have a championship banner that says 72-10,” Green said. “If we don’t win a championship, we’re not posting a banner that says — God willing — 73-9, unless we win the championship. As bad as I want this record, we need to get something to go along with it.”