Stephen Curry looking to shed iso-targeting: ‘I’m going to make some plays’
The Houston Rockets showed a very deliberate plan of attack in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals — attack Stephen Curry on defense as much as possible.
And while James Harden had a field day with Curry on an island, it won’t keep the two-time MVP from having confidence in his ability to make plays on defense.
“If I was the opposite coach and saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, I’m most likely going to (go after) me — especially for a team that relies on iso situations like they do,” Curry told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports after practice on Tuesday. “Cleveland has done it for years. My whole goal is that if you want to abandon (your) normal offense to try to pick on me and put me in mismatch situations or whatever it is, then over the course of 48 (minutes), I’m going to get enough stops to figure it out.”
Curry doesn’t have to turn into a defensive stopper from one day to another, just make enough stops to redirect the ball to a less-dangerous cog or force a bad shot.
While the first half wasn’t his brightest, Curry started to pick up on some tendencies early in the third quarter, stealing a pass from Harden and bouncing it to Andre Iguodala for the easy slam.
“Those two plays were timely,” Curry remembered. “We were up six on the first one, and those are kind of the make-or-break points where you extend the lead to double digits or (let them back in). And then the fourth quarter, same thing. You’re kind of killing a last minute run, and their momentum.
“I was joking with somebody in the locker room, saying if I’m in that situation (getting targeted on defense) for however many possessions it was, I’m going to make some plays. It’s just a matter of not having many breakdowns.”
Curry’s vision is rather simple — execution by repetition. There’s only so many one-on-one moves Harden can pull off before showing some tendencies, and by taking 26 iso plays in Game 1, he’s already revealed a part of his offensive arsenal — one which goes right into Curry’s memory bank.
Only 12 of Harden’s 41 points came against Curry, despite the MVP frontrunner making every possible effort to get the matchup against the easiest possible defender on the court.