Stephen Curry might not be enough to save Warriors
Stephen Curry is having one of the best seasons of his storied career, but the Golden State Warriors (36-35) are barely hanging on to sixth in the loaded Western Conference. The 35-year-old is averaging 30.1 points, 6.3 assists and 6.2 rebounds and shooting 50.4% from the field, 44% from three and 91.5% from the free-throw line.
Statistically, Curry is having a season nearly identical to his 2015-16 season, when he became the NBA’s only unanimous MVP. He leads the league in scoring if you take away free throws.
Despite Curry’s stellar play, Golden State has struggled, especially on the road, where it has the third-worst record in the NBA (7-28). It is one of the strangest phenomena this season.
After Golden State won at home against Milwaukee (50-20) and Phoenix (38-32), Klay Thompson vowed to turn around the Warriors road performance before a five-game trip.
“I think we’re going to come out of the trip with great momentum,” Thompson told the media. “It’s our time to ramp up our ability to win games.” Curry sat beside him at the podium, nodding his head the entire time in agreement.
On Wednesday, however, Warriors lost on the road to the Los Angeles Clippers (37-33), 134-126, despite getting 50 points from Curry on ridiculous 20-of-28 shooting. No matter how well Curry plays, Golden State can’t put it together away from the Bay.
“It’s nice to play well, shoot well,” Curry told the media afterward. “It’s what I expect to do every night. It’s just frustrating when you can’t get over the hump.”
This is the story of the Warriors all season. When Curry is on the court, he’s his usual dominant self, but his play doesn’t have the usual ripple effect on teammates.
On Friday, Golden State — which is still playing without star Andrew Wiggins (personal reasons) — had its second game of a five-game trip against the Atlanta Hawks (35-35). The Warriors lost, 127-119, despite Curry putting up a game-high 31 points.
The Warriors were without Draymond Green. After receiving his 16th technical of the season against the Clippers, he got an automatic one-game suspension from the NBA. His absence put the Warriors in a tough position and significantly increases the offensive load on Curry.
Golden State clearly will need much more than its superstar’s brilliance to reach its ultimate goal: repeating as NBA champion.