Let's call a spade a spade: Steph Curry is a straight nightmare to defend.
Yeah, I know I'm pointing out the obvious here. But don't take it from me, someone who would have his ankles snapped in four different places if he tried to defend the Warriors star. Let's ask Corey Brewer, a 13-year NBA veteran who has been tasked with trying to contain Curry, LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant and others stars on multiple occasions.
"Guarding Steph Curry is a nightmare," Brewer wrote in a breakdown of the NBA's best offensive players. "When he passes half-court, he can shoot the ball and it's effortless. You have to guard him as soon as he passes half-court, so you have to push up. For me, having some length, I just try to get him to drive to the basket. I want to see Layup Steph Curry rather than Three-Point Steph Curry.
"If Steph starts knocking down threes, you're gonna lose every time. Not only is he gonna make it most of the time, his threes get the crowd into the game and teams can feed off that. From then on, he can do whatever he wants. Once he’s making threes and the crowd is going crazy, we'll try to double-team him. But that’s where his passing comes in - that's when he’s getting everybody else involved. Like I said, he’s a nightmare when he’s making threes.
"He’s also one of the best decoys to ever do it because when Steph Curry's on the court, he gives everybody space. When he gets past half-court, again, you have to guard him. Even if he was just standing there at half-court, I'd probably be right there with him - still guarding him - so those other four guys are gonna be playing with a lot of space."
So, what's the key to trying to stop Curry from burning down your house every night?
"When I’m guarding him, it’s “please go shoot a layup.” That gives us a chance to win -- because if Steph is shooting threes and making threes, it’s curtains," Brewer writes. "He changed the game with the way he can shoot the ball. That's why all these guys are shooting off the pick-and-rolls, all these guys are shooting threes now. That makes him great. That's why he's a two-time MVP. That's why when people talk about one of the greatest shooters to ever do it, it's probably Steph. He changed the game, a true revolutionary when it comes to shooting that basketball."
Guarding Curry is hard enough in its own right, but when Curry and Durant were on the same court for the Warriors, that was just ridiculous, according to Brewer.
"It was beyond frustrating when Steph and KD were on the same team," Brewer writes. "As if that wasn’t enough, you’d have Klay Thompson on the court too. With all three guys, if they can see the rim, the ball has a chance of going in at a crazy rate. What do you do? You have to basically pick your poison, and you saw what happened. Look at the championships they won. They were almost impossible to guard. They all have high basketball IQs too, which makes it even tougher."
Curry, Thompson and the Warriors spent last season recalibrating after five straight trips to the NBA Finals. With Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins healthy and rested, the Warriors should once again vault back into title contention and should be one of the teams hoping for an earlier start to next season.
Many have assumed the Warriors' dynasty is dead and buried. But Brewer isn't one of them.
"Even without KD, the Warriors will still be good when they get healthy! Klay got hurt and a lot of things happened this year, but they aren’t going anywhere. I'm not gonna say that they had a great run because it's not over yet."
Curry and the Warriors will be back with a vengeance next season, much to the dismay of everyone tasked with containing him.