Warriors

Terry Stotts gets defensive about Blazers' Game 1 defense on Steph Curry

Terry Stotts gets defensive about Blazers' Game 1 defense on Steph Curry

You don't have to be a basketball expert to know that the Portland Trail Blazers' defense on Steph Curry in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals wasn't good.

Curry tied a playoff career-high with nine 3-pointers on Tuesday night in the Warriors' 116-94 win, and many of his shots came with no defender close to him.

After the game, Portland head coach Terry Stotts was asked about his team's defense, and didn't think it was that bad until the final 12 minutes.

"Well, to be honest, other than the fourth quarter, the game defensively was managable," Stotts told reporters at Oracle Arena. "They got loose in the fourth quarter and had 39 in the fourth quarter, but going into the fourth quarter down six, we were finding ways to hang in on a night we were struggling offensivly. So certainly, they got loose. It's a combination of how well they move without the ball and pick-and-rolls. Curry and Thompson move well without the ball. I'm sure pick-and-rolls were part of it, bit it's also their movement and transition."

That's when things get a little testy between Stotts and the media. Here's the follow-up exchange between the head coach and a reporter.

Reporter: Houston had some success trapping Steph and getting out on him. Is it sustainable for you to keep dropping the big so far off?

Stotts: I can't remember. When he had 33 in the second half, were they trapping then?

Reporter: Yes.

Stotts: They were? And he scored 33 in the second half?

Reporter: Yeah.

Stotts: OK. Yeah, we'll look at that.

We're sure when Stotts goes back and watches the film of Game 1, he'll agree that his defensive gameplan left a lot to be desired.

[RELATED: Blazers lament long Nuggets series]

We'll find out in Game 2 if he's going to have his centers continue to sag off Curry or he will try something different.

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

Steph Curry and the Warriors ran roughshod over the NBA for five years, reaching five consecutive NBA Finals and putting together the league’s greatest regular season ever with 73 wins in 2015-16.

The 2019-20 season has not gone quite the same for Golden State, as Curry remains out since suffering a broken hand on Oct. 30. The Warriors now own the league’s worst record at the All-Star break.

It’s safe to say players around the NBA haven’t exactly sympathized with the organization’s precipitous downturn.

"Let me be honest with you," Giannis told reporters Saturday during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. "The players, we kind of enjoy that he's not playing -- not enjoy that he's hurt. We want him to be healthy, but he just makes it way, way tougher for the rest of the league."

[RELATED: Iguodala opens up about Steph defending him on social media]

It’s not the first time players have publicly stated their appreciation for the Warriors no longer being the unstoppable force they became in the 2010s.

The guard definitely has made life more difficult for defenders over the years, as Curry owns four first-team All-NBA honors as well as the most 3-point field goals among active NBA players.

Curry is aiming to return to the court in early March, and the Warriors will play the Bucks on March 14. Antetokounmpo’s reprieve from facing the two-time MVP might not last much longer, then. 

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

If you had a dollar every time someone compared Steph Curry to Trae Young, you'd have a lot of dollars. 

It's an obvious comparison. The Warriors star and the face of the Atlanta Hawks are electric, undersized point guards who can drain shots from just about anywhere on the court. 

Young surely has heard of the similarities countless times, but that doesn't mean he minds the reminder. 

"Who wouldn't want to be compared to MVP and a guy like that," the 21-year-old told reporters Friday ahead of the NBA Rising Stars Challenge. "I don't necessarily get into all that. I don't mind it. I'm glad I'm getting compared to a guy like him than somebody else. It's not a bad thing."

Curry has missed all but four games this season after breaking his left hand a day before Halloween. The two-time MVP will be re-evaluated March 1, and he'll return to the court soon after. 

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard arguably has seized the reigns as the NBA's most ridiculous shot-maker in Curry's absence -- seriously, just look at the Oakland native's game logs since the start of 2020 -- but Young isn't far behind. Young is averaging 29.7 points per game and making 36.9 percent of his 3-point shots. 

[RELATED: Paschall impresses, leads Team USA to Rising Stars win]

He's not quite Curry, of course. The three-time NBA champion has never shot worse than 40 percent from deep in a season in which he played at least 50 games. Curry could retire today as the NBA's fifth-most proficient 3-point shooter (43.5 percent), while Young didn't even cross the 40 percent threshold in his one year at the University of Oklahoma. 

Young's cabinets are missing the hardware that fills Curry's, too. But being mentioned in the same breath at this point in his career? That's more than enough for Young right now.