The world is on a panic because we haven’t seen a breakout game from Stephen Curry in this NBA Finals. Statistically, his numbers are down and he just doesn’t seem like the 2-time MVP that has had eyes glued to Golden State games for the past two years. We saw a little bit of struggle in the last series against OKC which made everyone question whether Curry was still hurt or not but then he gave you three straight 30+ point performances to end the series and all that chatter deceased.
So what’s wrong with Stephen Curry now?
He’s only averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in the NBA Finals, shooting 43.6% from the field and 40% from three. His plus or minus is only 0.7 and he has player efficiency rating of 13.0 in this series which is very low for a guy who led the league in PER with 31.56 during the regular season.
Why is he struggling against the Cleveland Cavaliers in this series?
The answer to that question is simple, STEPHEN CURRY IS NOT STRUGGLING. Has he missed some make-able shots, sure but the notion that he’s drastically struggling is a bit overrated. More so the first two games than the third, Stephen Curry controlled the game by not even touching the ball. His movement without the ball and the way he came off of down-pins and screens allowed for all of those back door slips that led to easy baskets. The Cavaliers are very aware of how he can change the game from behind the arc, so them throwing two guys at him every time he comes off a screen or a pick leaves someone else open, which is what you want if you’re Golden State.
This quick clip is the perfect example of Curry’s impact without the ball.
People are so blinded by Curry not putting up his usual barrage of points that they want to bash the MVP for not having 25+ points in every game when in fact, he’s helping his team win by playing the decoy and letting his teammates get theirs. He can easily go out there and force shots over defenders which is what he and Klay Thompson did a little in Game 3 but that’s not going to win them games and he knows that. Winning the NBA Finals, averaging less than 20 points will beat losing the Finals and averaging 40 points any day of the week.