Warriors

How would Payton guard Curry? The Glove's guide to stopping the MVP

How would Payton guard Curry? The Glove's guide to stopping the MVP

Every NBA team facing the Warriors has a plan to stop Stephen Curry. No team has discovered a man to stop the back-to-back MVP.

Gary Payton wishes he had the chance. Of course he does. Though Payton scored 21,813 points in his career and is in the Hall of Fame, he was “The Glove” most famous for his skin-tight defense of such stars as Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller.

Physical is the way to go, according to Payton. And relentless is the way to be.

“When you have a guy like Stephen Curry, who handles the basketball and then pulls up, my job would have been to pressure him 94 feet – don’t forget about him,” Payton said Tuesday on The Warriors Insider Podcast.

Payton pointed out the dangers of ignoring Curry if he starts slowly. And it occasionally happens, where Curry bounces back from a poor first half with a torrid third quarter.

“Teams back off,” Payton said, adding that Curry can sense the opening.

“Once he gets on that roll, he starts to feel it and then he gets one or two dribbles over half court and he makes that,” Payton said. “I would pressure him the whole game. Pressure him.”

The Cavaliers, who knocked off the Warriors in the NBA Finals last June, were cited as an example of how best to defense Curry. Though opposite point guard Kyrie Irving is not a great defender, he was physical and got plenty of help from such muscular teammates as JR Smith, Iman Shumpert and LeBron James. Curry often ended possession on his backside.

“He doesn’t want to be on the floor; that takes a toll on you,” Payton said. “You’ve seen that happen to Dwyane Wade. It’s a lot different when you’re beating up on a guy and making him make tough shots and make difficult shots and pounding him.

"I would have to make (Curry) go to the bucket and I’d be really, really physical with him. Cleveland did a great job on him in The Finals when they beat up on him. They got him frustrated. Then he started worrying about going against LeBron, thinking about that. They were hitting him. They were pounding him.”

Curry shot 40.3 percent from the field in the seven-game series against the Cavaliers. Over the final three games, all won by Cleveland, his percentage dropped to 36.7 percent.

Payton pointed out there are few players whose defense he admires, identifying among them Draymond Green and Boston’s Avery Bradley, who has gained a reputation for making things as tough on Curry as anybody in the league.

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins progressing towards practicing with team

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AP

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins progressing towards practicing with team

OAKLAND -- Though not establishing anything close to a timeline for his return, the Warriors announced Monday that DeMarcus Cousins is nearing the point when he’ll be able to participate in controlled portions of practice.

“He’s been doing a lot of individual work most of the season,” coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff against the Phoenix Suns. “He has not participated in most of our practices. He’s done work in the weight room and the training room and on the floor before practice. We’re going to start seeing him more involved in more of our team activities, [such as] 5-on-0, ball-handling and skill work.”

It’s conceivable, Kerr said, that Cousins would do some light scrimmaging with the team’s younger players in the coming weeks.

Cousins sustained a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon in January. The 6-foot-10 center/forward underwent surgery shortly thereafter and has spent the last nine months rehabilitating an injury that typically takes about a year before being cleared for athletic activities.

“DeMarcus continues to make good progress with his rehabilitation program,” the Warriors said in a statement. “After spending the last few weeks doing various individual on-court activities and drills, he will, in the near future, be integrated into controlled aspects of team practices, although not scrimmages at this point. Additionally, he will continue with his off-court strength and conditioning.”

Asked if Cousins, 28, is exceeding expectations, Kerr deflected.

“We’re not going down that path,” he said, grinning.

“He’s doing fine. He’s doing well."

Watch Steph Curry finally dap up Oracle Arena security guard who snubbed him

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AP

Watch Steph Curry finally dap up Oracle Arena security guard who snubbed him

Stephen Curry finally got his handshake.

Five days after an Oracle Arena security guard snubbed the Warriors star, the two-time MVP was not left hanging ahead of Tuesday's matchup with the Phoenix Suns. 

Curry was surely fueled by the disrespect. The 30-year-old averaged 31.0 through his first three games, the fourth-most of any player entering Monday. He also scored 30-plus points in each of the first three games, something he's never done before to start a season.

But now that the point guard was shown some love, one has to wonder if he'll lose his motivation. After all, the Warriors are coming off of their first loss of the season on Sunday. 

If Golden State loses two in a row, at least you'll have an inciting incident ready to blame.