Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson Prove They Still Have KO Punch, But How Long Can Erratic Shots Last?

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 59 points in 14 three-pointers scored in Golden State’s win over Memphis on Friday. Thompson won the day, making a total of eight of his 14 3s and 11 of 22 shots. Curry was 4-for-17 at one point before hitting two dagger triples as the Warriors finally Put the grizzlies away.

But numbers need context. Curry didn’t play well. He finished with 29 points and it’s a testament to his all-time threat level that he was sloppy with the ball and couldn’t get a shot for most of the night that he still put up a 14 plus for the game. and indeed he hit the shots when it really counted, but with Dallas or Phoenix in the conference finals he must be better.

Ditto for Thompson, who was great on Friday but has been forcing shots for a while. Thompson needed an 11-for-22 performance in Game 6 to end the streak with over 40 percent from the field. He’s not the defender he used to be and puts much more emphasis on his offensive contributions.

Curry, on the other hand, just can’t find his shot save for a couple of runs that save the box score. He was 6-for-17 of 3 on Friday, and he finished the Memphis streak with 32 percent from beyond the arc and 41 percent overall. This is by far the worst postseason shoot of his career, right behind the worst regular season shoot of his career.

As I wrote earlier this week, Curry’s shooting battles helped validate just how great a player he is. He still has five 30-point games posted in the playoffs; only Giannis Antetokounmpo has more. He ground 29 on Friday. He’s such a winning player. Even when his shots don’t go in, he keeps attacking from dribbling, keeps moving off the ball, chasing shots and creating advantages for everyone else. James Harden should take note.

But at some point, one would think, these shots will have to be recorded as the postseason progresses. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors beating the Suns or even the Mavericks when Thompson and Curry are shooting so inconsistently, especially since they no longer have an elite defense to fall back on.

It is now a blank slate. The Warriors have gone through two rounds and the score starts at 0-0 against the nearest opponent. Curry and Thompson can get past those unpredictable paths and get hot at the right moment, and when they do it, the Warriors can beat anyone. But we have yet to see evidence that they can summon their ancient magic on a consistent basis. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson Prove They Still Have KO Punch, But How Long Can Erratic Shots Last?

Justin Scacco

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