Final NBA: Warriors butuh sosok selain Curry

Jakarta (ANTARA) – If you look at the first three games of the NBA Finals this season, it’s hard to deny Stephen Curry’s big role as the lifeblood of the Golden State Warriors.

Among all the performers, including the Boston Celtics players, Curry was the most prolific figure in the three games of the 2022 NBA Finals. On average, Curry contributed 31.3 points after 34 points in the first game, 29 points in the second game and 31 points in the second game. third game.

In the final minutes of the third game yesterday, Curry suffered an injury and was out for a while before being able to force himself to continue the game until he was withdrawn by head coach Steve Kerr who felt that the 14-point gap from the Celtics would not be able to be caught by the Warriors with two minutes remaining.

Curry claims that he is fine and can still be on the floor for the fourth game which was played at TD Garden, Massachusetts, Friday local time (Saturday WIB).

The Warriors showed similar optimism, especially when Curry’s condition did not require an MRI scan and the star continued to take part in Thursday’s training session (9/6).

“I’m going to play. That’s all I know right now,” Curry said at his final press conference ahead of the fourth game broadcast on the NBA’s YouTube channel on Friday.

Although Curry is optimistic, so are the Warriors, but of course the 34-year-old basketball team is faced with a big task to take on a more significant role in the fourth game later.


Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (left) closely monitors the movement of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry in the third game of the NBA Finals at TD Garden, Massachusetts, United States, Wednesday (8/6/2022) local time. (ANTARA/REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS/Kyle Terada)

Klay Thompson is of course the first name that comes to mind when talking about someone other than Curry who should be able to play a bigger role ahead of the fourth game.

If in the Western Conference finals Thompson delivered “Game 6 Klay” performance one game earlier, perhaps the same thing happened two games earlier in the NBA finals.

The third game yesterday was a sign that Thompson had started to show positive progress by packing 25 points to improve his average contribution throughout the NBA finals to 17 points.

In the third game Thompson was also much more aggressive in shooting than the first game, but his accuracy and conversion rate improved compared to the second game.

Jordan Poole who stole the show with a shot buzzer-beater In the third quarter, the second game is also expected to play a more significant role.

Besides Thompson and Poole, Andrew Wiggins may also be another name that is expected to be more significant in supplying the numbers for the Warriors in the fourth game after having an average contribution of 16.3 points.

If Thompson and Poole are expected to play a role, Wiggins is certainly expected to be able to help the Warriors speak more significantly in the paint area or the area around the basket which must be admitted to be the key in determining victory in the previous two final games.

So it wasn’t just Wiggins, Kevon Looney, who had set a record as the first Warriors center since Robert Parish in 1977 to score 20 points and 10 rebounds in a playoff game in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

Another option that might be a new solution is to give more playing minutes for debutant forward Jonathan Kuminga who has a promising posture in the battle in the paint area.

“You can’t rule anything out. It’s something we continue to discuss among the coaching staff every day. Do we need to put another player in the rotation? Do we need to change the combination?” Kerr said.

Whoever it is the name that will appear to take on a more significant role or again rely on Curry, the Warriors who are currently trailing 1-2 to the Celtics will clearly treat the fourth game with a must-win situation if they don’t want to be on edge when they return to San Francisco to Game 5 later.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (C) is seen wincing in pain after sustaining an injury in the middle of a wild ball struggle in the third game of the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, Massachusetts, United States, Wednesday (06/08/2022) local time. (ANTARA/REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS/Winslow Townson)

Scramble for paint area

Except for the first game when the Celtics orchestrated their brilliant comeback supported by six points in a 20-2 streak, the last two games have always shown the team that dominates the paint area will come out victorious.

In fact, in the first game the Celtics, who won, also outperformed the Warriors 34-26 in the paint area, but it’s hard to say that the paint area played a more significant role than their tripoin accuracy, which reached 51.2 percent, the highest in the series so far.

The second and third games present a battle between two teams who are relatively equally good at executing shots outside the arc, but the points obtained in the paint area are clearly the main differentiator.

In the second game, the Warriors, who outperformed the paint area 40-24, were able to walk smoothly to win 107-88 over the Celtics.

The Celtics changed full control of the paint area in the third game with a superior score of 52-26 to beat the Warriors 116-100.

The dominance of the Celtics paint area was also continued by how they mastered the rebound aspect, namely 47-31 compared to the Warriors, including the success of securing 40.8 percent of the situation. offensive rebound which translates further through the conversion of 22 to 11 second chance points.

Another important aspect that can be read from the battle for the paint area is how both teams protect their respective defensive areas and in fact in the second game the Warriors have to admit failure for allowing the Celtics to bring the ball through the opponent’s defense (drive) 57 times, or 22 times more. versus 35 drives the Warriors did alone.

The Warriors’ weakness in the paint area of ​​the second game of course cannot be separated from the less than perfect appearance shown by the aging forward Draymond Green.

Green had just two points, four rebounds and three assists over 35 minutes before committing a sixth foul or being charged foul out approximately four minutes before the dispersal of the fourth quarter.

The figures will certainly invite criticism, but Green’s colleagues still believe the 32-year-old will soon find his big role again.

“Yeah, there’s definitely a reason Draymond is here. We wouldn’t be the Warriors without Draymond. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever shared the field with. We’re all human, we can’t be immune to a bad night or two,” said Thompson.

“I know Draymond will return to his signature game that is full of physical contact, is fast, loud and becomes the ‘Money Green’ that Dub Nation loves,” he added.

Boston Celtics basketball player Jayson Tatum (0) tries to enter the ball while being escorted by Golden State Warriors basketball player Stephen Curry (30) in the third match of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (8/6/2022). The Boston Celtics won 116-100 over the Golden State Warriors to temporarily lead the score 2-1 in the NBA Finals. BETWEEN PHOTOS/Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY via Reuters/aww.

Green really needs to rediscover his best form and work hand in hand with Wiggins and Looney – Kuminga if necessary – to win the paint area both defensively and attacking.

Third quarter puzzle

The Warriors’ skill in controlling the third quarter and the important impact that can be generated from it has been repeatedly expressed and acknowledged by the players and head coach of the Celtics.

However, until the three NBA finals have been running, the Celtics have not been able to overcome this problem.

Of course, even though in three games they became the Warriors’ months in the third quarter, the Celtics still managed to win both of them.

And in the third game there was positive progress shown in the Celtics’ efforts to stem the Warriors’ explosive power in the third quarter, when they only trailed by 25-33 points compared to 24-38 in the first game or 14-35 in the second game.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart even admitted that he couldn’t explain why his team overall lost 43 points in the third quarter of the three final games so far, even though in the first, second and fourth quarters they could have beaten the Warriors 52 points in total.

“I don’t know. That seems like something that’s going to be a mystery. In the end we just got to the floor and tried to do our best,” said Smart.

“You can plan and in fact so far it’s not working…. Of course we don’t want this to be a sustainable trend,” he added.

Not only was Smart confused to explain, Kerr also didn’t know why the Warriors could be so bright in the third quarter.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) fights for a rebound with Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) and guard Derrick White (9) in the second game of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center, San Francisco, California, Sunday (5/6/2022) ). ANTARA/REUTERS/Ezra Shaw/pool photo-USA TODAY Sports

“I usually open a book filled with aphorisms from movies or history, pick the right one and fuel the spirits of the players, then suddenly they play better,” he joked.

“I don’t know. It’s been our trend for years, and it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with what I or the other coaching staff say. It’s in the hands of the players, they just do it,” Kerr added.

Although the Warriors’ skill in the third quarter may return to be an unsolved puzzle, of course they hope it will help pave the way for winning the fourth game.

On the other hand, the Celtics hope that even if the Warriors beat the points again in the third quarter, as long as they bounce back in the fourth quarter to win, that would be enough.

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