Having a really, really, realllllly great player on your favorite basketball team is an awesome thing. Not awesome in that you get to witness all the 50+ point explosions, third quarter supernova performances and countless game-winning shots (OK, that's pretty awesome too) but that you follow every second of that player's effort in his entire career. I enjoy watching LeBron James and Kevin Durant play basketball - the two best hoopers in the world - but I don't have the pleasure of watching them play every game. I, we, haven't missed a second of Stephen Curry's career and there's good and bad in that kind of addiction.
From the moment his name was announced after the likes of Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio, to Monta Ellis complaining to the media about their ofd fit, to the numerous ankle sprains, and now the day-to-day ascension to full-fledged superstardom, Curry has been the face of the Warriors franchise.
And during the 101-100 victory against a solid Atlanta Hawks, we got to see the downside of our favorite player. The fatigue noticeably wore on him throughout the game. Turnovers, awry shots, slow-footed defense incessantly plagued Curry and we were resigned to chalking up the loss to the regression of three-point shooting and trap game stuff. The overall feeling around fans were that such a great win over the defending champions would excuse a lackluster performance just 24 hours later.
But that's the beauty of watching a player this great everyday. With the great comes the bad and vice versa; and in the moments when Curry checked in after a long rest to start the fourth quarter, he was going to give the proverbial rest that he had, win or lose. In the fourth quarter alone, Curry scored 14 points on 5-9 shooting (1-4 on threes), five assists (including the game winner to Andre Iguodala, and four rebounds. But he also struggled with four turnovers. It wasn't the Superman Curry we're used to watching (only one three) but it was enough from a leader that essentially brought his team back from the dead.
The Miami Heat victory was aesthetically pleasing and innately exceptional from the standpoint which affirmed our notions that Curry was an MVP-level player. This game served the same purpose, without the same level of play. Curry wasn't as good as he was last night, but that's the beauty of following a player's career. You'll get the great, and on nights when they aren't great, you'll witness something not-so-great but awesome in the sense that there's vindication of watching all those stupid, stupid years of Warriors-ness when they'd play the role of the team on the other side of that wide-open three-point shot going in at the buzzer, staring mouth agape as the victors run off their home court, fists raised, in pure jubilation.
I just wish someone better than me was writing about this. Curry is awesome to watch, is usually all I got.
David Lee probably deserved one yesterday. And there was no doubt he was by far the best player on the Warriors for the first three quarters. The only guy who could make a shot he took what the defense gave him and was highly efficient again. With Andrew Bogut banged up and numerous other big men either struggling or out with injury, Lee's taken his game to another level.
1. There wasn't much to glean from such a lackluster effort. The same old stuff played throughout, especially the horrible bench play and countless turnovers. Bogut didn't play much due to the calf injury and it hurts the bench's scrambling-type defense when they are unable to protect the rim.
2. Harrison Barnes made a big three tonight. What can we get for him? His value's moving on up, ya hear! Oh, and then there's this.
3. Didn't have a chance to talk about Iguodala's three but it wouldn't have been possible without the threat of Curry. Yesterday, the pick-and-pop game between Lee and Curry worked to perfection when the Heat were forced to double on every drive. Tonight, when Curry inbounded right near the half court line, the Hawks sent an instant double even though Curry was somewhere *insert city far away but near Atlanta*. That's respect. And it cost the Hawks when Iguodala found himself with a wide-open three-point shot. Curry's been the main reason for Iguodala' 46.6 three-point shooting percentage.
4. Now 4-0 on the road trip with three to go and eight wins in total. Also, it appears as if the Los Angeles Clippers will be without Chris Paul's services for 3-5 weeks. Terrible blow for the Pacific Division leader (before tonight's games).