(These allergies have me looking like a red panda - not an actual red panda because those are ugly but a panda that is red. Anyway, I am forced to cut this short between all the sneezing and sniffling so here you go).
In a season that's exemplified just how great Stephen Curry is and has become, i feel like I have slighted his work by writing just so little after these types of games. Some of it has been that he's sitting out large portions of the second half after scintillating first halves and there's not many highlights to choose from. Another has to do with how he plays. his willingness to pass when doubled and how little flash there is to that type of basketball. But make no mistake, when there was just one single team that the Golden State Warriors haven't beaten showed up on the schedule, Stephen Curry gave us one more show, and another MVP performance notched on his growing belt.
Curry shot down eight threes but they felt like 18. The best part about Curry's unreal displays of shooting is the unrealistic nature he pours it on. He doesn't spread them out so much as pile it on as the crowd gets louder and louder, or softer and softer as it did tonight. He saw one go in in the first quarter and poured in another. He ran through defenders from all angles, nailed one off the dribble, and turned Mike Conley around so hard on the baseline, he had enough time to bake a cake before swishing one from the corner. By the time Curry drilled another from the left wing, the game was beyond over, with the Warriors up 22 and the Memphis Grizzlies vanquished in the house of horrors.
There are those that worry about this team is peaking too early. The issue remains, though, that the Warriors were playing this great from the beginning of the season. Curry has been there Day 1, and has vaulted and carried this team to historic levels of success. The Grizzlies tried what I think is the best way to guard Curry, switching defensive PNR coverages from blitzing, icing, hedging, or simply laying back at the free-throw line. You can't let an offensive player get comfortable on that end and most teams trying to get the ball out of his hands every single possession gets Draymond Green and his teammates an easier path from which to keep walking.
But none of it mattered. Curry dished to a flashing Green, floated one over Marc Gasol when he was iced, got rid of the ball to anyone that was open down the lane or crosscourt when he was doubled, and damn near skinned a Grizzly when they dared leave him open off the dribble.
And on defense? Well, there's Mike Conley scoring a grandiose total of the same amount of points as you and I scored in the second half. Then there's the singular sequence where Curry blocked a shot and finished a fastbreak layup on the other side of the basket with a flip that would get any gymnast excited.
So there is your MVP. And there is your Golden State Warriors hitting the 59-win mark in late-March, and on pace for a 67-win season. Drink it in. This is some kind of season and some kind of effort from the best player on the best team in the entire world.
Warriors travel to Milwaukee to play the Bucks on Saturday May 28 at 5:30 PST.