Through the first four games of the 2022 NBA Finals, Steph Curry clearly was the best player on the floor and it wasn't particularly close.
But against the Boston Celtics in Game 5 at Chase Center on Monday night, Curry wasn't his usual dominant self, finishing with a series-low 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting from the field and 0-of-9 from 3-point range. It's the first playoff game of his career where he hasn't made a 3-pointer.
But Andrew Wiggins picked up the slack for Curry, leading the Warriors to a 104-94 win over the Celtics that puts them one win away from an NBA championship, which they can clinch Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston.
But with a chance to close out his fourth NBA title in eight seasons, Curry should come out on a mission in Game 6. At least, that's what Draymond Green expects.
"I don't think there's a different type of satisfaction," Green said after the game. "A win is a win whether Steph gets 43, 10 and 4 or whether he finishes with 16 on 7-for-23 shooting. A win is a win. Obviously, we have spoken about helping him. I don't think he's out there helpless, like, that's the narrative. But everybody's doing their part. Tonight, a night that he didn't have it going, we found offense elsewhere and that's kind of what it's been. But in the same token, if he's got it going, we're going to be heavy Steph Curry. That's just what it is.
"So this whole notion that this guy doesn't have help, when he's got 43, he's going to keep shooting. And we're going to do all that we can to get him shooting. So it was huge. Now, that's good for us. He was 0-for-9 from three. He's going to be livid going into Game 6 and that's exactly what we need."
Green very likely is right. Curry will want to come up in three days and avenge his poor performance. After the Warriors lost Game 3 in Boston, Curry was hellbent on making sure they won Game 4 and he torched the Celtics for 43 points and seven 3-pointers.
If Curry bounces back in the way Green expects, the Warriors will be in a good position to win Game 6 and hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy. And it would be the perfect way for Curry to cement his status as NBA Finals MVP.