No one knows Stephen Curry’s confidence in his shooting abilities like his trainer and shooting practice partner Bruce Fraser, who has endured several seasons of the two-time MVP going through ups and downs.
Game 3 against the Houston Rockets saw a seemingly struggling Curry evolve into his swagger-ful self all in the span of one game, catching fire in the third quarter and yelling “this is my f***ing house” at the top of his lungs after consecutive highlight-reel plays.
“I didn’t see (the video) until this morning,” Fraser told Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “I loved it. That’s him exuding confidence, happiness, success, all those things. And when he gets in that place, he’s unbeatable.
“The funny part is that if you asked him, ‘Do you remember this?’ He can’t remember it. I’ve seen that. When he gets in those moments, it’s sort of an out-of-body thing, because he has a huge personality and he doesn’t hide that, but he doesn’t try to show that on the floor as much as he (does privately).”
But to others, it isn’t the bounce-back games, but the willingness to grind through his struggles and shoot the same shots, knowing they will eventually fall.
Curry started the game 1-of-6 from distance, even missing a couple of wide-open looks that could have spelled the start of a breakout game, but the Golden State Warriors point guard took command in the third and used one bucket to drive the other.
“My favorite Steph celebration was the shimmy in Portland (during the 2016 playoffs) when he finally made a three that got him to 1-for-11 (shooting),” said his coach Steve Kerr. “So you want to talk about confidence, you shimmy when you’re 1-for-11? That’s confidence.”
“I wasn’t capable of that. I would go into a shell if I missed four or five threes in a row. Most guys would, to be honest with you. But Steph’s a different breed.”
Analytics have said so all season long, Curry is the driving engine of this Golden State offense, and it wasn’t any more evident than on Sunday night, as his 35 points engineered a 41-point blowout of the Rockets, one that could spell further trouble for Houston with another game to play at Oracle Arena before the series returns to the Toyota Center.