Warriors

Van Gundy explains why Lakers shouldn't overreact to Steph

Warriors
Steph Curry Dennis Lakers

In order for the Warriors to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in the play-in tournament, conventional wisdom suggests Steph Curry needs to have a monster performance.

Although perhaps there is a scenario in which the two-time NBA MVP scores a lot of points, yet the Warriors lose because the Lakers take away everybody else.

"I don't think Steph Curry can be guarded," NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy said Tuesday on The Lowe Post podcast. "The way he plays -- the movement off the ball. It's not the pick-and-roll defense, it's what he does after he moves [the ball]. And I think what teams do oftentimes is they overreact to his scoring.

"He still finds a way to 30 to 35 to 40 points, and other guys get layups."

There are countless examples over the years of the Warriors getting easy buckets after two defenders jump out to try to prevent Curry from getting the ball.

It sounds like Van Gundy's main strategy would be to prevent Steph's teammates from getting open looks in the paint.

"The first thing I would think of if I was the Lakers, is I wouldn't think as much about how I was gonna guard Steph Curry -- I would think how am I gonna guard to prevent layups and how am I gonna guard Draymond Green," he said. What do I want to do with Draymond Green -- both when he catches the ball beyond the 3-point line and how do I want to guard him when he catches in the low post when we know he's not trying to score.

 

"Both areas are where he's trying to make a scoring pass -- either to Curry or somebody off a mistake that leads to a layup. I'm interested in how they guard Green."

Van Gundy isn't advocating for the Lakers to single-cover the three-time NBA champion and be OK with him erupting for 50 points.

Obviously, the Lakers will try to smother Curry and make him as uncomfortable as possible.

RELATED: Drummond trolling Steph with 'lock in' before Warriors-Lakers?

Van Gundy's point, rather, is you better not allow the two-time scoring champion to get clean looks AND for his teammates to get high-percentage shots.

That is easier said than done, but the Lakers boast a fantastic defense and have the personnel to make things hard on the Warriors.

It should be a fascinating matchup, and Wednesday night can't get here soon enough.

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