At face value, It is easy to look at Stephen Curry’s line from game one and assume that he had an off night- and rightfully so.
For Curry’s standards, 18 points on 8-for-15 from the field including 1-for-5 from three are pedestrian numbers offensively and indicates that he struggled. However, there are times that the box score don't tell the entire story.
Game 1 was one of those times.
Granted, Curry had a quiet night scoring but his impact was loud enough to help the Golden State Warriors steal the Houston Rockets’ home court advantage. He played a low volume/high hustle game. Curry’s 18 points came off of 53% from the field. Not to mention he only committed one turnover.
What impressed me about Curry’s performance in Game 1 was the fact that he was very active on the boards. When focused and committed, Curry is a solid rebounder. If I’m not mistaken, he boxed out Gerald Green on one of his six rebounds.
Another thing that impressed me was Curry’s ability to adapt and take what Houston’s defense gave him. The Rockets’ defense pretty much ran Curry off the perimeter and switched sharply on splits and flares, which contained his off-ball movement. Since Houston took Curry’s perimeter game away, he drove to the basket without out any lack of burst or any resistance.
Another thing that’s overlooked in Game 1 was the fact that Curry caused mismatches that Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant benefited from. During a few sequences in the game, the Rockets’ defense doubled Curry high which left either Durant or Thompson open.
Out of Thompson’s 18 shots, only four of them was contested. Why? because of mismatches and spacing. Curry, whether he’s aggressive or not on offense, is always a threat. His presence leads to spacing and spacing creates open shots for others.
Some of the Klay breakdowns— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 15, 2018
-Capela/Tucker both think they have Draymond
-Don’t get a body close enough twice in transition
-Paul overhelps in front of Capela after Harden beat off dribble, wide in corner
-Harden floats too far away/falls
-Paul brainfarts, loses him completely pic.twitter.com/FDKNCPLT4y
Despite a few big games in the second round, the fact remains that Curry is only six games back from injury. He seems to be still looking for consistent rhythm and his timing as a scorer. Coach Kerr is confident that Curry will find his groove.
It could come as early as tonight’s game.
Don’t bet against it.