Steph Curry is the best shooter the NBA has ever seen, and he’s put that ability on display all series long against the Trail Blazers. In the Warriors‘ first three wins in the Western Conference finals, Curry shot 19 of 45 from downtown, good for 42 percent.
There are a number of reasons for Curry’s success from downtown, but one of the most underrated is his willingness to work to get open. Curry has become an expert at relocating around the 3-point line when he doesn’t have the ball, and he took that effort to the extreme in the first quarter of Game 4.
Bringing the ball up the floor, Curry tried to dribble past his brother, Seth Curry, then looked to slip a pass inside to Shaun Livingston. It got deflected, though, and he had to chase the ball into the corner to recover it. From there, he drove back inside and kicked the ball out to Kevon Looney, then sprinted to the opposite wing.
From there, he put a few moves on Damian Lillard, but couldn’t get free, and took a brief break in the corner. He didn’t stay stagnant for long, however, and soon cut baseline, then sprinted back to the other wing to catch a pass from Draymond Green. After pump-faking to let Lillard fly by, he leaned in and hit the 3.
OK, so he may not have ran five miles as the headline would suggest, but on this one possession Curry ran the length of the floor and criss-crossed it three different times just to get open for one 3.
The shot itself wasn’t remarkable, but the work he did to get open was. Most stars are content to rest when they don’t have the ball, but not Curry, which is just one more reason why he’s so difficult to guard.