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Retro Explain 1 Play: Curry’s 54 pt MSG game

A video analysis of Mark Jackson’s offense and how the Knicks defended it and Curry.

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks
Ima grow a beard someday

This is a companion piece to Patrick Murray’s remembrance Golden Moment: The day Stephen Curry saved my soul.

The Warriors 2013 game at Madison Square Garden was Stephen Curry’s first big pro explosion into the public consciousness. Isn’t that an amazingly short time ago? Four years ago, Stephen Curry was not even considered an All-Star. (He made his first All-Star game in 2014.). In the public eye, he went from:

  • 2011. Not as good as Monta Ellis.
  • 2012. That kid with the bad ankles.
  • 2013. Decent, injury prone, but no All-Star.
  • 2014. An bench All-Star player, but no All-Star starter.
  • 2015. An All-Star starter, but no MVP.
  • 2016. An MVP, but not the greatest of all time.
  • 2017. Washed up, being merely an All-Star starter, but no MVP.

Now that is an explosive trajectory.

Before the Knicks game, Curry had just dropped 38 points in a loss to Indiana, and now David Lee was out. So Curry’s green light was greener than usual.

You can see all of Curry’s delicious points in the video below. My favorite part is listening to the crowd groans get louder and louder.

Mark Jackson’s Schemes

2013 was Mark Jackson’s second year coaching, and the Warriors had improved defensively. This was a massive culture shift from the previous three decades. Also to Jackson’s credit, he was the first coach to really give his players the green light to shoot threes in transition. But once things settled into the half-court, the offense was driven by isolation plays against mismatches and pick and roll basketball.

Here’s a short video story of how Curry tried to power the Warriors past the Knicks double-team blitz, but ultimately fell short. The Knicks exposed a weakness of the Warriors’ scheme which was really exploited by the Clippers in the painful 2014 Playoffs. The Warriors finally overcame the blitz in the 2015 Finals vs the Cavaliers, just in time to win a championship.

Bonus Thoughts

I’m not gonna lie, I’m really enjoying making these videos, Maybe it’s the novelty of finding my way around iMovie, or being able to diagram right onto the film... it’s a great feeling.

And speaking of great feeling, you can get a discount on underwear from my sponsor... just kidding.

You can see I’m slowly making the videos denser, so you may have to pause to read or rewatch. But you had to do that with the old format anyway...

Feedback welcome as I am still figuring out the video thing.


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