The Golden State Warriors knew what to expect rolling into Game 3 in Houston last night. They knew that the Houston Rockets were a team desperate to save their season, and they played like it. Up by nine at the half, the Rocket’s out hustled the Warriors on the offensive glass. The Warriors behind Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala led the Warriors to overtime where they would eventually lose, 121-126.
Stephen Curry’s Hot Mess Of A Night.
There’s no getting around it: Stephen Curry played like trash last night. He started the game with some promise, hitting his first three of the night and scoring seven points in the first quarter. After that, his performance plummeted to the lowest of lows. He shot an unacceptable and abysmal 7-for-23 from the field, including 2-for-9 from three, five fouls and an embarrassing missed dunk at the end.
While Curry was struggling at the half, I thought that he was just struggling to get adjusted to his dislocated finger. That didn’t prove to be the case at all. His dislocated finger didn’t cause him to blow defensive assignments and pick up five fouls. Curry’s injured finger didn’t cause him to force the issue by trying to switch to his bad hand on a layup or a meaningless dunk at the end of the game. This was a result of poor decision making. In fact, it’s not too far fetched to wonder whether the root of Curry’s problems right now are physical or mental. It appears as if he’s lost confidence.
He’s lost confidence in his ability to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble. He’s lost confidence in his rhythm and game. Warriors coach Steve Kerr seems to be more concerned about getting Klay Thompson going than trying to figure out what’s going on with Curry.
Exhibits A and B, ladies and gentlemen.
Steve Kerr: "I didn't do a good job of getting Klay shots early in the game."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 5, 2019
After tonight’s dud, Curry was once again seen on an exercise bike in the locker room. Attempting to peddle the game and his frustrations away. For this performance, Curry needed weights in there and then he’d have to “sit in it” — let the performance linger. In fact, let the performances of the last six games linger until he gets pissed off enough to play like he’s capable of playing. This may be the rock-bottom before the tear. I wouldn't bet against it.
The Rockets needed this game and played like it on the glass. Houston out rebounded Golden State 55-35, including 17 offensive rebounds. The Rockets also feasted on points in the paint. 52-40. In the first two games, the Warriors were aggressive on the glass with second chance points. Houston was more aggressive on those rebounds and generating second chance points. Meanwhile, the Warriors didn’t put forth any effort until the second half.
In order for a Game 4 victory to happen, the Warriors must control the glass offensively and defensively from start to finish.