All Eyes on Curry: Celtics 94 Warriors 86

I’ll get to Curry in a moment, but I want to mention first that I thought these were two amazingly competitive efforts that the Warriors gave on the road against the Knicks and the Celtics, two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, regardless of record.

Particularly given the fact that they didn’t have David Lee in either game.

What’s that you say? David Lee played against the Celtics? No, that wasn’t David Lee you saw. That was a guy who could barely lift his left arm above his shoulder. Whom I don’t believe even made a shot with his left hand. That must be one heck of a shoulder bruise. And let’s hope it’s just that, and not a strain or a tear.

What you saw playing tonight was David Lee’s heart. The heart that never goes away, never takes a game off. 19 rebounds. Who could fail to respect this man?

Stephen Curry: Coming into this game, I was afraid that Curry might have a rough game. And although it might look like he did, according to the box score, I don’t fault him for his poor shooting night one bit. I was actually impressed by his game. For two reasons:

The first is of course the unavailability of David Lee in the pick and roll. The Celtics were overplaying Curry wildly, determined to run him off the line, and trap him.  Usually in that situation, David Lee is Curry’s number one outlet and weapon. Curry swings the ball to Lee, and the Warriors play 4 on 3 with Lee at the point. Or Lee just buries the open 18 footer.

Well, Lee was nowhere to be seen tonight setting picks for Curry. Apparently, that shoulder is really, really bad, and the Warriors didn’t want him to aggravate it by banging it setting screens. Not to mention that he couldn’t shoot from outside anyway.

The second reason Curry impressed me is what he did to Avery Bradley. It can’t be overstated how great an on-ball defender Bradley is. He has achieved near-legendary status in Beantown already, in parts of 2 injury-riddled seasons. And since Rondo went down, he has stepped into the breach and helped this Celtics team go on an amazing run.

Curry destroyed him. I’m not joking. His shot clearly wasn’t available, as tightly as Bradley was covering him, but Curry took the challenge and got the better of Bradley. How? By making him pay for his overplays with clever lean-ins, on dribble drives, on three point shots, and simply bringing the ball up the court. Curry put 5 fouls on Bradley by early in the third quarter, and went to the free throw line 10 times as a result. On other nights, with a team coming along for the ride, Curry’s effort might have been enough to steal the game.

This could very well be a threshold moment for Curry. That moment occurred at Madison Square Garden for those who don’t watch him much, or never understood what they were watching, or forgot his rookie season under Don Nelson. The MSG performance was a threshold moment in how Curry is perceived around the league.

But going to the foul line 10 times against a defender of Bradley’s quality? That could be a threshold moment in Curry’s game. Drawing fouls and getting to the line has been a weakness in Curry’s game thus far in his career. If this game creates an aha moment in Curry’s mind regarding his ability to get in the lane and draw fouls, that could be very bad news for the rest of the league.

And vault Stephen Curry into the most elite rank of NBA basketball player there is:

The closers.

The Myth of Warriors Depth: We know how badly the Warriors need Curry on the court to win. 48 minutes against the Knicks. 42 in this game. We learned how badly they need Jarret Jack on the last road trip. And on this road trip, we’re learning how badly they need David Lee.

In fact, the Warriors have to almost completely change their offense when Lee is unavailable, or injured as in this game. In his role as high pick setter, and high-post triple threat extraordinaire, he is the fulcrum of the Warriors offense, the spoke around which it revolves.

Depth? Let’s not kid ourselves. What the Warriors have accomplished this season was accomplished with a handful of remarkable veterans. And a remarkable rookie by the name of Festus Ezeli.

Jack: Where’d he go? J.Hammer has turned into J.Rabbit.

The Brand: I’ll let the obvious flaws in Barnes’ game go on this night, in celebration of his first appearance in weeks. This was probably the most energetic effort that Barnes has given this season. Are you pleased by that, or disturbed that you never knew he had this gear?

In the NBA, you have to give everything you’ve got, every single game.

Like David Lee.

Klay Thompson: Klay has struggled badly with his shot lately, and has been put under a microscope by Warriors fans. My advice: take a deep breath.

Remember that shooting slumps happen, even to Ray Allen. Remember that Klay is literally the fourth option in crunch time for this Warriors team, which makes it tough to maintain a rhythm. Remember that the Warriors are in their dog days, with two torturous road trips in the last month that have worn everyone down. Particularly the young players, who don’t know everything there is to know about NBA conditioning. Remember that he’s frequently being used to guard point guards, like Parker and Westbrook.

And try to enjoy the fact that for a guy with 120 games under his belt, he has an incredible hoops IQ, an incredible handle, incredible court vision and incredible passing ability. In short, he has an incredible floor game.

Take this game, for instance. 9 rebounds. 4 assists. And a blocked shot.

Barnes has 1 blocked shot in his last 24 games.

Oops, I wasn’t going to go there.

53 Responses to All Eyes on Curry: Celtics 94 Warriors 86

  1. so what is feltbot’s proposed idea of pulling the warriors out of this slump during the last push into playoffs? any potential pickups around the league to add to this thin roster?

    • 1) Home cooking.
      2) Bogut sits out.
      3) Don’t count on Joe Lacob to add a player. Too cheap.

  2. I’m kind of stunned by how much you like Klay’s game?

    • disappointed here, that we won’t see Den thrash the woeyrs another time this season. they didn’t have everyone healthy in the earlier games.

      expectations for barnes have now been lowered so a not terrible outing becomes good. taking seventeen shots to score 16 though at the slower Bos pace is hardly reason to look for barnes to find a sustainable game.

  3. “David Lee Sucks”

    http://vimeo.com/59821851

  4. Thanks Feltbot!

    Yes, Curry’s rookie year under the great Don Nelson – It was the end of that season (without Ellis) where I was convinced Steph Curry was the real deal. This season less Monta, Curry played All-Star caliber ball this year.

    Klay’s good. He’s so good that I’ve seen him take good defenders off the dribble to the hoop – then forget how to shoot a layup!!! Klay starts making these gimme shots (he’s long and athletic enough) I’m certain his FG % goes up to respectability!!! Averaging 16 points on this team, I’ll take it and hope for natural progressive improvement next season.

    This is not the game to pick on Barnes! He actually played nicely… Baby steps! It’s either a missing heart issue, a mamas boy syndrome, or a coaching issue – but Harrison’s potential is there. I can’t throw him under the bus yet…

  5. Curry actually struggled against Bradley. Got almost all of his points from the free throw line, the calls were horrible. Bradley had only 2 or 3 legit fouls throughout the game.

  6. Man, if that’s Curry destroying his defender I’d hate to see how poorly he shoots when he gets shut down.

  7. laughable

  8. … Curry destroyed Bradley …

    Um, did we see the same game here?

    The fact that the last two fouls on Bradley were utter bullshit, here is the breakdown of what happened while Curry and Bradley were on the court, courtesy of RedsArmy.com:

    ~1st quarter~
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 7:06.
    Curry had 1 point, 0-1 FG, 1-1 FT (technical), 2 TOs and 0 fouls drawn on Bradley

    ~2nd quarter~
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 6:17
    Curry had 7 points, 1-4 FG, 5-5 FTs, 1 TOs and 2 fouls drawn on Bradley

    ~3rd quarter~
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for an even 4 minutes.
    Curry had 2 points, 0-2 FG, 2-2 FTs and 2 drawn fouls on Bradley

    ~4th quarter~
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 32 seconds.
    Curry had 0 points, 0-1 FG

    ~Total~
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 17:55.
    Curry finished with 10 points, 1-7 FG, 8-8 FTs, 3 TOs and 4 fouls drawn on Bradley.

    ~Conclusion~
    You are a bit delusional if you thought Curry actually DESTROYED Bradley…

  9. Curry destroyed Bradley? I guess what they say is true. Everyone is high in SF. Geez, this guy is HOMER

  10. ARE YOU HIGH!!! WRITTING THIS POST MIGHT MAKE YOU THE WORST SPORTS BLOGGER EVER! RE YOU BLIND < BEFOR EYOU WRITE ANYTHING YOU SHOULD CHECK THE FACTS OR FOR THAT MATTER WATCH THE GAME!
    1st quarter
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 7:06.
    Curry had 1 point, 0-1 FG, 1-1 FT (technical), 2 TOs and 0 fouls drawn on Bradley
    2nd quarter
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 6:17
    Curry had 7 points, 1-4 FG, 5-5 FTs, 1 TOs and 2 fouls drawn on Bradley
    3rd quarter
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for an even 4 minutes.
    Curry had 2 points, 0-2 FG, 2-2 FTs and 2 drawn fouls on Bradley
    4th quarter
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 32 seconds.
    Curry had 0 points, 0-1 FG
    Total
    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 17:55.
    Curry finished with 10 points, 1-7 FG, 8-8 FTs, 3 TOs and 4 fouls drawn on Bradley.

  11. warriorsablaze

    It seems like some new blood has arrived in the Feltbot world… good to see. It had become a bit too much of a Feltbot echo chamber in comments lately.

    Regarding the “depth” narrative you always return to… all the depth talk occurred when we had Rush and expected Bogut to come back at the beginning of the year. With them, we suddenly have a 10 man rotation of quality players who can consistently contribute, whereas now we have 8. With them healthy, we WOULD be a very deep team. JJ, Rush, Green/RJ, Landry, and Beans/Festus would be the best 2nd team in the league….not that I necessarily advocate for hockey style “strings”.

    Curry didn’t have his shot, but the fouls on Bradley may indeed signify a growth in his game as you said… he has been much more aggressive and savvy in “leaning in for contact” over the past few games. Bradley picked up a few questionable calls derived from Curry being tricky with positioning. Also, the new found league respect could go a long way towards the “superstar calls” we’ve come to expect Paul, Lebron, etc… to pick up whenever they make aggressive moves toward the hoop.

    I hope the rest of the team wakes up soon. Jack and Klay especially. There is no margin for error with this team… the first half of the season wouldn’t have been possible without all cylinders firing. With Klay, Jack, and Lee sputtering, we’re in trouble.

    • I frequently derive my topics from the Warriors media’s own discussion points. And Fitz’s “depth” narrative has never stopped.

      • warriorsablaze

        Fair enough…. I haven’t heard from Fitz in a while due to him dealing with family issues and me mostly being stuck watching streams online often with the opposing announcers.

        As much as Fitz is an annoying homer, I have to say I appreciated him more after listening to Heinsohn… he’s the absolute worst. I grew up in New England but had forgotten how ridiculous he is as a commentator.

        • How do you like Jim Barnett? I love him. But Fitz sold his soul to the Cohan/Rowell regime long ago and all the stupidity and suffering that goes with that political machine… Fitz sounds good, but he’s arrogant, and has little character having thrown too many people under the bus. I was hoping Fitz would be gone by now. Being a Ws and bay area sports fan, I can’t even listen to KNBR during the daytime. Thank god for 95.7 fm…

          • warriorsablaze

            I like Barnett though he should be left off the interview duties… he has some of the most awkward interviews with players ever.

            I love Fitz when we are winning… can’t stand him when we are losing. He’s got great energy and enthusiasm on the call… but all the excuses and bullshit gets old. After experiencing more “local” broadcast teams due to streaming games online, my opinion of Fitz has become much less harsh. There are some seriously bad broadcasting teams out there.

  12. Curry destroyed Bradley??! Lmfao

  13. Honestly, as someone who has watched every game Avery Bradley’s played (so I’m a bit of a homer, but also someone who sees how the refs react to his defense), drawing those kinds of fouls is not some sort of unique achievement by Steph Curry. He gets a lot of calls against him because the refs are guessing. He still gets called like a rookie a lot of the time.

    • warriorsablaze

      Picking up those fouls may be a characteristic of Bradley, but at the same time drawing those fouls has been somewhat of a weakness for Curry. That foul in the open court where Steph positions his body to draw contact, as well as another where he leaned into contact on a drive are somewhat new developments for him. He’s been doing it a lot more over the past 3 games with success.

      I appreciate Bradley’s defense quite a bit actually, but if you are constantly reaching, grabbing, and making contact in today’s NBA, you’re going to get called for fouls…. rookie or not.

  14. A greater drop-off from Curry was to be expected. There had to be a letdown. Barnett told the story about how he scored 42 points one game—and 2 the next.

    Someone else had to step up. I’m surprised they didn’t put more of the load on Jack, maybe resting Curry more. If Jack makes it, fine. If he doesn’t, he needs to keep practicing carrying the team. They’ll need it later.

    But Jack probably would have struggled because he wouldn’t have had much anyone else to go to.

    I’m surprised they’re not trying out some more players from the D-league. If they find someone, they’ll need him later and he needs to play now. Or is Lacob unwilling to commit to (or can’t pay for) another player, thus have to let him got after his two 10 day contracts?

    April 2010, Curry’s first season, with a depleted roster the Warriors beat a full OKC squad (plus Harden), all of whom played heavy minutes, 120-117. Tolliver (14 points, 13 boards) and Reggie Williams (20 points, 9 boards), D-leaguers who had only been with the team for a month or so, were strong contributors.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AvpNg8asNNiKpvRgsUusR6GkvLYF?gid=2010041109

    • OKC took this game seriously, btw. From the Yahoo recap:

      “Oklahoma City missed a golden opportunity to strengthen its playoff seeding heading into the final week of the regular season. Now the Thunder need some help to avoid a first-round matchup with the defending champion Lakers.”

  15. You lost all credibility. As previously mentioned:

    Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 17:55.
    Curry finished with 10 points, 1-7 FG, 8-8 FTs, 3 TOs and 4 fouls drawn on Bradley.

    That one bucket he did make was a wide open shot when the refs handed the ball back to warriors when curry CLEARLY kicked the ball out of bounds. So they shouldn’t have even had that possession when he scored his ONE and ONLY bucket on Avery. Watch the game. The fouls called on Avery were ridiculous too.

    6-22 = Avery destroyed Curry.

    • warriorsablaze

      I guess all the new folks on here are just Celtics fans who stumbled in. Bradley is a tough defender, no doubt, and he did a good job. I don’t agree with Felt that Curry “destroyed him”, but he still managed 25 points and 6 assists…. and was +7 in a loss…. not to mention he took Bradley out of the game with 5 fouls in less than 3 quarters. You can complain about the officiating, but it’s part of the game and every team receives it’s fair share of questionable calls (or no-calls) every game. It’s always only the losing team who believes they were screwed by the refs… it’s a matter of bias and perception.

      • warriorsablaze

        Losing team, in this sense, in the Curry/Bradley match-up.

        I know you guys don’t watch Curry much as Celts fans, but he almost NEVER puts up numbers in the first quarter… letting the game come to him and getting his teammates going. I actually wish he were more aggressive, but he’s among the 4th quarter scoring leaders in the league so I won’t complain too much.

        • Curry is a great player, don’t get me wrong. But saying he destroyed Avery is ridiculous. As far as losing team, I don’t understand. You think Avery lost the matchup? Avery did his job. Curry struggled all game. Anyways good luck to you in the playoffs. Your team will be fun to watch.

          • warriorsablaze

            Feltbot is prone to hyperbole and often outrageous statements of opinion delivered as “fact”… it’s why this blog is unique and fun. I don’t agree that Curry destroyed Bradley, but what I did see was that Curry still got his usual looks and simply wasn’t hitting them yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, Curry usually doesn’t get it going until the second quarter, so his 1 FG attempt in the first quarter wasn’t abnormal and not necessarily a result of Bradley.

            We can call it a draw… though you guys got the win so that’s all that matters. I just hope we can even still make the playoffs…

          • I think you have the 6th seed locked. You have 16 of your last 22 games at home. It would be hard to catch Denver for 5th seed but you should be able to separate yourself from the teams below you very soon.

      • Ha – you can call Pierce an old man, KG a jerk, Rondo a ball stopper, but NOTHING will piss off Celtics fans like questioning Avery Bradley’s defense.

        • True. I am a celts fan myself and he had no facts in this article. Curry is one of my fav players and he did do a good job in drawing a couple fouls but most of the fouls on Bradley were bullshit. It reminds me of a thunder vs heat game where players got called for fouls by not letting lebron do whatever he wanted.

  16. The Warriors were up 9- 7 through the first quarter when Jackson pulled Biedrins and went small. In the last six minutes the Warriors gave up 24 points, only scored 11 themselves, and the Warriors finished the quarter trailing 31-20. as the result of Jackson going small Bad move by Jackson.

    He repeated the same mistake in the second quarter. In the second quarter, Jackson went big with Biedrins and played him for almost for six minutes and cut Boston’s lead.

    Boston only scored 19 points in the third quarter mainly due to the Warriors going big during the first half of the quarter. The Warriors trailed by 4 at the half.

    Jackson started Ezeli in the third quarter and the Warriors played fairly even for the first eight minutes and were only down by 2, 60-62. Jackson then went small, and the third quarter finished fairly een with Boston outscoring the Warriors by 3, 19-16. But the fact remains the Warriors cut the lead at the outside by going big.

    The fact that Boston scored only 19 points in the second and third quarter was mostly due to the Warriors going big. And the Warriors twice lost leads by going small.

    Thompson is not a great shooter. His jump shots miss left, right, the back iron, off the front iron, and in and out. He sometimes has a good arc, but many times his shots are flat. Such is reflected in his low FG%. But, Thompson may improve overtime as Lin did. But I doubt he will.But, as we all know, shooting is not his only problem. He has problems finishing at the rim, and he simply plays dumb on both offense and defense by stepping out of bounds and turning the ball over to name a few. So, Felty, all we are left with is faith that he will improve, but I just don’t see it. He needs to be traded.

    For the time being, if the Warriors are to have any chance of winning the players taking the most shots should be Curry, Lee (if healthy), Landry, Jack, and Jefferson, and not Thompson and Barnes.

    Are we now pleased when both Thompson and Barnes make less than half the shots they took? When they g0 10-17.

    I am surprised that Jackson has given Jefferson so little playing time. I suspect that Jackson may be trying to get Jefferson to retire and not exercise his option to renew his contract. I believe he has the option.

    I read that trading opens again April. Is that true?

  17. Appreciate the Celtic pride!

    And stand by my statements.

    • Feltbot sounds like an 8 year old with a steph curry fat head on his wall right over his bed with warriors sheets and his steph curry pajamas. Don’t open the closet son because that boogie man you are afraid of is Avery “pitbull” Bradley!

      I know the facts do not support my statement at all but i am so dumb i stand by my statements. That sounds smart

  18. The Warriors have hit an all-time shooting 34 percent to Boston’s 48 percent from the field. Major changes are needed as to who plays, and also shot distribution. Without changes. there is no hope that the Warriors will make the playoffs.

    • Fire Jackson?

      • Toughest road stretch of the season just finished. 4 games in five nights on the road. What did a Ws fan expect?

        Jarrett Jack over the last few games – now we know he’s never been much of an NBA starter throughout his career – hasn’t been playing well this road stand – David Lee too. Those two need to get healthy for the end of the season playoff run… Bogut for the playoffs.

  19. Here’s how all these Celtics fans found my blog:

    http://redsarmy.com/2013/03/02/enemy-chatter-stephen-curry-destroyed-avery-bradley/

    Amazingly enough, not a single poster on this piece agreed with me…

  20. Rusty Simmons reports on twitter that Biedrins “has been dealing with an ab injury.”

    Everyone here knows how to translate that, right?

  21. has our peerless blogger der feltmeister in his ‘myth debunking’ series yet taken on the ‘committed to defense’ myth ? that agit prop stuff we’ve heard all season about the ‘woeyr brand of basketball’. the normal ‘we have to improve our defense, that’s obvious’ didn’t instill confidence so the preacher tweaked it. the contest in Bos was another great lesson (as was the rumble in Ind) what teams look like that are truly committed to defense. teams who give players like T.Allen or A.Bradley starting spots or significant minutes. not teams who use a prized upper lottery pick on a player like Barnes.

    not denying that the defense has improved over the ellis era, and it is part of the winning record, but ‘at the end of the day’ as the preacher says, the personnel and rotations (look no further than the frequent front court of lee and landry) shout, win with offense and hope to get just enough stops and board on the other end to squeeze by. the team’s differential between scoring and getting scored on is zero for the season.

    • The real myth about Warrior defense is that Lacob has been committed to it, or maybe that’s what you meant. The squad is simply outmatched at most positions in terms of size, strength, speed, and/or experience, and they’ll always have to work compromises, guarding the lane vs. guarding the perimeter, etc. Lacob has done almost nothing to correct this, or rather his solution has been to focus most of his interest—and trade possibilities and salary—on a center. I’m especially skeptical Bogut could have made that much difference on defense, not with the kind of players the team has. Or he has brought in “defensive players” with limited and negligible offense so it’s hard to keep them on the floor.

      Losing Rush, of course, was a blow and not Lacob’s fault.

      • Rush and Bogut. Ws could use more two way players for sure.

        Why does Boston always draft or sign so many great on the ball defenders? Rondo, Bradley, C. Lee, and Dooling previously? Ws sure could use one – Basemore promising, but not there.

  22. Curry destroyed bradley? Curry 6-22 for 25 points 10 on them on FT, 4 TO, lol you must be dreaming 27% FG hahaha it’s the other way around or you may put it as Refs destroyed Bradley.

  23. the writer has a boy crush on Curry! lol

  24. Curry and Bradley were on the floor together for 17:55.
    Curry finished with 10 points, 1-7 FG, 8-8 FTs, 3 TOs and 4 fouls drawn on Bradley.
    Curry destroyed Bradley.. … ….are you high?

  25. Philadelphia:

    OK, that was pathetic. Jack is proof positive that it’s hard to recover after phenomenal games. Curry, however, has done so quite well.

    Nice seeing Dorell, however.

  26. ninja please

    Curry destroyed Bradley? Didnt know Dell Curry was writing here. Give me some of that stuff you are smoking!

  27. I had to laugh off the “Curry destroyed Bradley”, as stated by Redsarmy:

    If you want to say he was successful at getting to the line but 1-7 shooting while being guarded by the leagues top on ball defender doesn’t constitute as getting destroyed.

    Love the passion on this blog. Keep it up.

  28. I effed up that post hahaa. meant to show the stats redsarmy did of 1-7, 8-8 FTA