Stephen Curry targeted on defense a playoff-high 23 times in Game 2
Stephen Curry, while an offensive dynamo, can be a big liability on defense. The Golden State Warriors superstar stands at 6’3″ but his lanky stature makes him an easy target on switches.
As reported by Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Houston Rockets targetted Curry on 23 plays in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals — the most in a game in this year’s playoffs:
Houston targeted Stephen Curry on 23 plays tonight. It’s the most in a game this postseason. He was the primary defender on 20 plays in Game 1.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 17, 2018
Curry himself is aware of this. It’s not just the Rockets who have done it. Other teams, including their rivals in the Cleveland Cavaliers, have exploited Curry’s lack of size and strength on defense.
As reported by Sam Amick of USA Sports Today, Curry reflected on getting switched on defense. He knows that these plays are inevitable. Sooner or later, he will be tasked to defend the best offensive player of the team. He just intends to get enough stops to neutralize its effects:
“Cleveland did it a lot,” Curry said. “It didn’t end up in an iso situation with me and ‘Bron (LeBron James) most of the time, but they would initiate most of their offense with a ball screen with either J.R. (Smith) or … Iman Shumpert, sometimes with Kyrie (Irving), and they would try to create confusion off of that initial action, or at the end of the shot clock try to get me in a post-up situation with Bron.
“It’s kind of a two-way sword. One, sometimes you’re going to get scored on. It’s the NBA. There’s talented guys. James (Harden) averaged 30 a game for a reason, but at the end of the day like I said, I’m going to get enough stops to hopefully have that matchup be to our advantage over the course of a game.”