HOUSTON – Before the Western Conference finals pitched, Stephen Curry joked that he expected the Houston Rockets to defensively attack him "every single game".
He was not too far away.
The Rockets Targeted Curry targeting 23 possessions in Game 2, most of which he was targeting in a game this off-season, as she won the Golden State Warriors 127-105 on Wednesday night the same series at a game apiece. He was the main defender on 20 games in Game 1. (19659002) According to the Second Spectrum, Curry defended 15 isolation games in Game 1 and 13 in Game 2. Both were more than he defended in the last four seasons, the season and
"They took shots," Curry said of the climax of the Rockets. "We were only one step slower on our rotations and switches, boys went into the paint, we know that their MO is isolation, trying to get dribbles, getting the ball in the paint, we have to answer more aggressively and more Discipline at the defensive end. "
James Harden and Eric Gordon scored 27 points each to lead a balanced attack, and the Houston Rockets led the Golden State Warriors 1
When asked how relentlessly the Rockets put on curry, coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni said, "It's obviously one of our things we like to do.
In the series James Harden and Chris Paul consistently demand screens from teammate Curry guarding to make the two-time MVP switch to them. As soon as Curry changes to the primary ball leader, the Rockets try to break into the basket.
Houston scored 7-of-15 from the field on these 23 possessions Curry was the main defender. Curry was often repulsed by dribbling and allowed Harden too many times to drive to his stronger left side.
"We tried to be too sweet with our [defensive] exchanges and our counters and all that stuff instead of just getting up and playing single defense," said Curry. "Whether they score or not, as hard as we work at the defensive end, they work hard at the offensive end to get a shot, so that was the difference between Game 1 and Game 2. They made a concerted effort to make that effort. Turning one-on-one situations into a bit more ball movement, we were only one step slower, including myself. "
Many wonder if Curry is completely healed of his left knee injury, forcing him to miss five weeks ,
"I feel good physically," he told ESPN. "I play without any restrictions, so I can just play basketball."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr says he believes his point guard may carry the Rocket's defense toll
"[Steph’s] to feel well," he said. "I do not know what that was, maybe his sixth or seventh game back, so he's getting better and I thought he played a lot better in Game 1 than anybody owed him, but again it was not us not on the same page on many games where we went out of their way. "
Houston shot 51 percent off the field and won seven direct playoff games shooting 50 percent or better in 2009.
" We All you have to do is keep watch, "Durant told ESPN when he was asked about the Rockets that were curry-based and reserved Nick Young. "They make us play one-on-one in the defense of the old school, we just have to keep watch and not get lazy, we came in the third quarter like three or four and one of them, all we have to do is watch out and man and see what
D & # 39; Anton's offensive plan limits what the Warriors can do from a team defensive concept. But Durant did not want to use that as an excuse for their bad defensive performance.
"Of course we want to fly around defensively, but if it does not require that and a team does not move the ball, or they" we have no body movement, if we stay in front of the ball, we protect ourselves, then we're fine, " Durant told ESPN, "Sometimes you have to play a man-in-the-man defense and just try to shoot a good shot or have a guy shoot you, and sometimes you have to help and get a theft or block. It just depends on how the game works. They do both with this team.
"But I'm not giving up on Intel, man, just a man, just play one-on-one, just join in and try as hard as you can for the guys who met, and we will And we have to burn a bit and play with a little more focus. "
Game 3 is Sunday. And despite the worst postseason loss since losing 30 in Game 3 of the 2016 NBA Finals to Cleveland Cavaliers, Curry says he feels good where his team is positioned.
"Obviously, now the stereotype is that we came here and we did what we should do and it's 1-1, and Yada, Yada, Yada" Curry said, "That's a good feeling better than the alternative, now we have to go home and recalculate to figure out how to get the momentum back on our side, bring in our home audience and be in good shape. "