After 233 games, Curry’s sensational series breaks
Golden States Stephen Curry fails shot after shot in the NBA Finals. The best pitcher in the league ends the game with historically poor statistics. The Warriors are now only one win away from the title. And Boston must fear Curry all the more.
Dhe Boston Celtics should be warned. “He didn’t hit any of nine threes. He’ll be furious. And that’s exactly what we need before game six,” said Draymond Green. His words didn’t sound like a threat, more like a promise.
Green spoke about his teammate Stephen Curry, who recently had a historically bad shot in the Golden State Warriors’ win over Boston in the fifth game of the NBA Finals series. After the 104:94, the Warriors’ always too self-confident power forward was certain: Curry’s revenge will overtake Boston in game six on Friday (3 a.m. CEST). How fitting that Golden State is just one win away from their seventh title in history.
In fact, after the 104-94 home win over the Celtics, Curry’s unusual throwing weakness was the dominant topic of conversation. A look at the numbers reveals why. For the first time in his career, the 34-year-old Curry remained in the play-offs without converting a three-point shot.
This broke his record streak of 132 playoff games with a converted long-range throw. In addition, another unbelievable series by the build-up player ended: Including the regular season, Curry had even finished 233 games with at least a three-pointer.
“Even for the best shooter in the world there are games like this. Luckily not that often,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr at the post-game press conference. In fact, since 2013, Curry has only had nine games in which he hasn’t hit a three. “Of course that bothers me as a shooter,” Curry admitted afterwards: “You want to influence the game in this way. But luckily that’s not the only thing you do out there on the pitch.”
Statistics speak for curry
Meanwhile, Curry’s failure is no reason for hope for Boston, quite the opposite. Because the statistics prove it. After his few games without a successful three-point shot, Curry usually scored all the better.
The all-time leading shooter in NBA history sunk an average of 4.4 three-pointers in his next game after a game without a three-pointer, according to ESPN. That includes his explosion with 13 threes in November 2016 against the New Orleans Pelicans; a league record at the time. “Of course, experience says that I’ll throw the ball better in the next game,” said Curry himself. “I’m looking forward to coming back.”
In game five against the Celtics, three days after his 43-point gala in Boston, Curry still had 16 points despite his shooting weakness. The important win on the way to the title also reconciled the Warriors superstar: “I don’t think I’ve ever been happier after a 0-of-whatever night because I knew the context of the game, the other possibilities, affecting the game.”
The fact that the Celtics were already 16 points behind in the first quarter and that even an outstanding chase in the third quarter with an advantage of up to five points was not enough for them seemed like a preliminary decision immediately after the duel in the Chase Center.
Golden State with team success
The message of the evening was: Even without Curry in top form, Golden State can beat Boston in the finals. Andrew Wiggins in particular had a strong evening and delighted the incredibly loud fans in the Chase Center both offensively and defensively. He recorded 26 points, plus 13 rebounds and two steals. Klay Thompson had 21 points, Gary Payton II (15). “I can read this list in full – the whole squad did their part,” Thompson said, looking at the stat sheet.
While the Warriors were able to be celebrated by the fans, the Celtics crept off the floor dejected and frustrated. “It’s about consistency for us and we don’t have that for a whole game,” criticized Ime Udoka, Boston’s coach, who again completely dispensed with national player Daniel Theis.
Above all, the 18 ball losses hurt the guests enormously; Golden State only had six. “We’re all frustrated with tonight, but the good news is we’ve been in this situation before and we’ve made it. So let’s do it again,” Udoka demanded. In the previous rounds, the Celtics were only one defeat away from the end and still made it into the finals.
The confidence in the Warriors is now huge after the defeat at the start of the final series. “I’ve never been so excited to come to Boston,” Thompson said. His teammate Curry will feel the same way.