Is Steph Curry doing the unthinkable and rooting for the opposing team during the playoffs? He says sometimes that is the case, and he can’t help it.
Steph and his brother Seth are facing each other in the Western Conference finals and are the first brothers to square off in this round of the playoffs. They’ve had moments where they’re guarding each other on defense, and Steph acknowledged that sometimes he doesn’t wish for his brother to miss shots, placing deep family allegiances over team rivalries.
“When he’s on defense I could care less because I need to get my buckets,” Steph told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview. “When I was guarding him, he had a corner three in front of our bench. It’s such a mixed feeling. I can’t really turn it off, to be honest. Like, ‘I’ll be OK (with it) if he makes this one.’ I’m going to still contest really hard so it looks good on film, but I might be OK with him making it. It’s weird, it’s a weird vibe. I can’t turn off that human nature in that moment to root for him even if though I know it’ll hurt me if he’s playing well.”
That’s the thing: Steph can still root for his brother to do well while making sure his Golden State Warriors win. Both things can happen since Steph can just outscore his brother or hope Portland’s other players miss shots to ensure the Trail Blazers lose and Warriors win.
As conflicted as Steph is about facing his younger brother, his parents have had it even worse with their torn allegiances in the series.
The Portland Trail Blazers chose to try a bold defensive strategy on Steph Curry in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals at Golden State on Tuesday night and it did not pay off.
The Blazers’ big men dropped off on the pick and roll plays the Warriors ran for Curry rather than flash out to defend his deep shots. That gave Curry some ridiculously wide open looks, such as this one:
Not ideal defense pic.twitter.com/3FyqRCNjpd
— Leigh Ellis (@LeighEllis) May 15, 2019
Here was another. Notice how there is no big man on the perimeter to defend Curry after he gets his screen.
Blazers flirted with all half, by using "drop coverage" on the high ballscreen, and finally got burned at the end of the half!
Back-to-back threes by Curry.#XsAndOs | #NBA#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/BEfQIYILA8
— Doug Brotherton (@CoachBrotherton) May 15, 2019
Curry led the Warriors with 36 points, going 12-for-25 from the field, including an absurd 9/15 on threes. He kept getting open looks and knocking down his shots.
After the 116-94 loss, Blazers star Damian Lillard said his team’s defensive execution was poor.
“Poor execution defensively on our part. Just having our bigs back that far, understanding the team that we’re playing against, they’re not going to shoot mid-range jumpers. If they see an opportunity to shoot the three, they’re going to take it,” Lillard said. “We gotta bring our guys off and run them off the line.”
Enes Kanter, Portland’s big man, is notoriously weak in pick and roll, which might explain their strategy, but the Game 1 results should be enough to convince them to change things up. If your strategy is to let Steph Curry have open three looks and have him beat you, he probably will every time.
Stephen Curry shot the ball poorly overall in the Golden State Warriors’ series against the Houston Rockets, but he has refused to blame that on his finger injury. Common sense would tell you, however, that it has very much been a factor.
Curry dislocated the middle finger on his left hand in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals. He then hit just 7-of-23 shots with his fingers taped together in Game 3, though he chose not to use that as an excuse. He has since been wearing a small splint on the finger, and Curry told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group that he’s still making tweaks to find something that works.
“It’s a lot of experimenting,” Curry said. “A lot of it will hurt until I have time to rest. I’ll continue to figure out how to make the ball feel comfortable in my hands.”
Curry didn’t specify how much rest he will need for the finger to improve, but the Warriors don’t begin their Western Conference Finals series against the Portland Trail Blazers until Tuesday. That probably won’t be enough time, as Curry admitted “it’s going to hurt” going forward.
Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser said there is “no quick fix” for Curry’s injury and that it has affected the two-time NBA MVP’s shot.
Curry shot just 28 percent from three-point range against the Rockets, though he ended on a good note with a 33-point explosion in the second half of Game 6. With how long Kevin Durant is expected to be out due to his own injury, Curry needs to find a way to get as comfortable as possible over the next few days.
Stephen and Seth Curry are set to become the first brothers to ever face one another in an NBA conference finals series, but the more experienced of the two appears to be treating his baby bro like just another opponent.
Following the Portland Trail Blazers’ thrilling win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 on Sunday, Seth Curry said he received a very simple text message from Steph.
Seth Curry says Steph texted him after the game today and said, “I’ll see you Tuesday.”
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 12, 2019
Seth is a bench player for Portland, so it goes without saying that Steph will make a bigger impact on the series. While it’s not as if the two brothers are going to square off against one another the way Kevin Durant and LeBron James would, the storyline is still a great one.
Steph may not want to make a big deal out of facing Seth, but you know their parents are geeked about it. In fact, they have already come up with a system for picking which son to root for. This should be fun for the Curry family.
With the Portland Trail Blazers having come back from 17 points down to beat the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Seth Curry and his older brother Stephen will now be facing each other in the Western Conference Finals. That could make rooting a bit awkward for their parents, but it sounds like the Curry family has already figured out a system.
After Portland’s thrilling win, Sonya and Dell Curry told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that they are planning to flip a coin to decide which parent roots for which son. They will also choose their gear accordingly.
Seth & Steph Curry will be the first brothers to ever play each other in an NBA conference finals. Sonya & Dell Curry told me their plan is to literally flip a coin to split which kid to root for/which parent wears which team’s gear.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 12, 2019
This is obviously an exciting time for the Curry family, as Steph and Seth will become the first brothers to ever face each other in a conference final.
— ESPN (@espn) May 12, 2019
The Golden State Warriors actually consulted Sonya for advice on solving an issue Steph was having earlier this postseason, so Mrs. Curry may have to serve as a consultant for both teams in the Western Conference Finals. Personally, I think Sonya and Dell should be pulling for Seth. Steph is a three-time NBA champion and two time NBA MVP. What ever happened to sharing the wealth?
Chris Paul and the Rockets say the reports of Stephen Curry being kicked off the Toyota Center court before Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals have been overblown, but Curry’s reaction seems to indicate there was more to it than the Houston side is letting on.
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reports that Warriors team manager Eric Housen booked some time from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Toyota Center court prior to Game 4 so Curry could work on his shot. When Paul found out about the practice session, he supposedly showed up and gave Curry the boot so he could work on his own shot — even after Curry offered to stick to one half of the court.
Paul and others with the Rockets have disputed that Curry was kicked off the court. Houston developmental coach Irv Roland told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle on Saturday that there were no issues and that Paul and Curry even joked with one another.
“When we finally went out there, Stephen cracked a joked with Chris. Chris said ‘let him shoot.’ It wasn’t like it was a confrontation. ‘Let him shoot. Let him finish what he’s doing,’” Roland recalled. “We didn’t kick him off the court. We didn’t even say anything. I wanted to know how long he was shooting because I had Chris with Michael Frazier and James Harden coming right after Chris. I wanted to know how long he was going to be before James left the house.”
It certainly would not be a surprise if the media blew the story out of proportion, but how do you explain Curry’s reaction after the Warriors closed on the series with a win in Game 6 Friday night? As he made his way to the locker room following his 33-point explosion in the second half, Curry triumphantly said, “Kick me off the court again, boy!” Draymond Green got in on the fun by shouting, “Kick him off! Kick him off!”
The feeling around this Warriors team right now is almost like they just won a title. They were up against it, & they knew it. One of the best wins of their entire run. pic.twitter.com/z61lwq1BTB
— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) May 11, 2019
There were more than a few heated moments during the series between Golden State and Houston, so perhaps Curry used whatever incident took place before Game 4 as motivation. Even if the situation did unfold the way the Rockets claim, Curry clearly held onto it.
Stephen Curry rebounded from one of the worst first halves of his career Friday night to lead the Golden State Warriors back to the Western Conference Finals, and it’s fair to say his peers weren’t surprised in the least.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both paid tribute to Curry after he scored 33 points, all in the second half, in his team’s 118-113 win.
NEVER underestimate the heart of a Champion‼️‼️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 11, 2019
Y’all better stop disrespecting @StephenCurry30 just because he’s a team first guy and is willing to sacrifice in moments doesn’t mean he’s not still a beast.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) May 11, 2019
Curry was grateful for the support from both players.
Stephen Curry on tweets from LeBron & Wade after hearing criticism early in series: "I've heard a lot of noise this series. I'll just leave it at that. I know what I'm capable of. I don't need any extra motivation. My confidence never wavers. Champions recognize champions."
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) May 11, 2019
It wasn’t just the first half that gave Curry issues on Friday. He’s been shaky for large portions of the series. As James and Wade noted, however, he’s a champion, and he stepped up when his team needed him most.