When you think of Steph Curry, you think of a pull-up shot from an insane distance followed by Mike Breen’s “BANG!!” The quickness of Steph’s release, his technique, and range are truly insane. But they are all made possible by something not talked about enough. Something coaches value, and most of us miss. Off-ball movement.
What makes Curry hard to defend
The Toronto Raptors won the title in 2019, but some experts claim the team got lucky because Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson got injured during the series. The Warriors remained competitive because of Curry, but Toronto was just too much.
According to Pascal Siakam, one area of Steph’s game was that’s significantly underrated is his conditioning. Steve Kerr and the coaching staff did a great job fitting the system to get the best out of one of the best shooters of all time. Curry has the green light from anywhere on the floor, but in order to get an opening for a shot despite the entire defense working to prevent him from launching, Curry had to become the fittest man in the NBA.
“I think his conditioning is underrated because the way he runs everywhere to get open every night is crazy.”
Pascal Siakam, ">The Old Man and The Three
Curry focused on the basics knowing the defense would make him a target every night. Getting strong and confident in his body was part of the plan. Because he can absorb bumps and still make the shot, it makes him more dangerous on the floor. With Draymond Green as his partner, Steph can create beautiful music on the floor every time.
Raptors stopped Warriors dynasty
Siakam believes the Raptors matched up well with the Warriors that year, compared to teams with dominant centers like the Philadelphia 76ers. With a guard-heavy rotation, the Raptors were able to switch on defense, thanks to breakout performances from Fred Van Fleet and Kawhi Leonard.
This season Steph is running wild with his historic offense, and the Warriors find themselves at the top of the Western Conference standings. Once Klay Thompson returns, they will only get stronger. So it’s now up to Siakam and the rest of the league to try to stop the Golden State juggernaut.
The crazy part is, at age 33, Curry seems as strong and as light on his feet as he ever was. The scouting report on Steph was always short and simple - wear him out. If that’s off the table, the rest of the league is in trouble.