Steph's defense doesn't go unnoticed by Kerr, Warriors

Steph Curry dives for loose ball

Steph Curry's offensive performances this season have placed him firmly in the MVP conversation, but the Warriors don't want the point guard's defense to go unnoticed.

As he praised the whole defense, Golden State coach Steve Kerr singled out Curry's two-way play after Wednesday's 111-107 win over the Indiana Pacers.

"I think Steph's defense this year has been totally overlooked because everyone has been locked in on his scoring and shooting," Kerr said. "But his defense has been fantastic."

Curry's on-ball defense this season is perhaps his best since 2015-16, when he became the NBA's first-ever unanimous MVP in league history. Opponents guarded by Curry are shooting 43.5 percent from the field, or 1.2 percentage points worse than when they're not guarded by him, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

Although Curry's currently averaging just 1.2 steals per game, he's third on the Warriors in deflections per game (2.5). That average is 22nd among NBA guards, and is Curry's highest since 2016-17 (3.3).

"He's active, active as hell," Paschall said of Curry. "He's standing his ground on drives, and playing very well. I feel like he's very underrated, but at the same time, he does so much on offense that people overlook his defense. But he's doing a hell of a job."

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The Warriors have allowed 8.1 fewer points per 100 possessions with him off the floor (102.3) than they have with him on the court, but he has been a part of Golden State's best defensive unit this season. Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kevon Looney -- the Warriors' starting lineup when healthy -- have posted a 93.1 defensive rating in 106 minutes together. That's the NBA's best mark among five-man groups that have played at least 100 minutes.


Of course, the Warriors also score 13.3 additional points every 100 possessions with Curry on the court, and that'd be more than enough to keep him on the floor if he wasn't earning plaudits for his defense. But Golden State believes Curry has played a vital role in its top-five defense, and perhaps that'll earn the two-time MVP additional consideration for this third.

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