Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson prove they still have knockout punch, but how long can erratic shooting hold up?

 Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson prove they still have knockout punch, but how long can erratic shooting hold up?


Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 59 points on 14 that made 3-pointers in Golden State’s consecutive win against Memphis on Friday. Thompson led the day, making eight of his 14 3s and 11-of-22 shots overall. Curry was 4-for-17 on one point before hitting two sword triples for the Warriors in the end put the Grizzlies.

But numbers need context. Curry didn’t play well. He finished with 29 points, and it was a testament to his all-time level of threat that he missed the ball and couldn’t make a shot most of the night as he finished with a plus-14 for the game, and he actually hits the shots if they really count, but looking forward to Dallas or Phoenix in the conference finals, he should be better.

So was Thompson, who was very nice on Friday but has been forcing shots for some time. It took an 11-for-22 appearance in Game 6 for Thompson to finish the series more than 40 percent from the field. He is no longer the defender he used to be, giving weight to his offensive contributions.

Curry, on the other hand, never finds his shot, except for a few box-score-saving runs. He was 6-for-17 from 3 on Friday, and he finished the Memphis series with 32 percent from the front of the arc and 41 percent overall. It was the worst postseason shooting of his career after the worst regular-season shooting of his career.

As I wrote earlier this week, Curry’s struggles in shooting serve to reinforce how good a player he is. He even posted five 30-point games in the playoffs; Only Giannis Antetokounmpo has much more. He grounded out 29 on Friday. He is a winning player. Even when his shots don’t get in, he keeps attacking from the dribble, keeps the ball moving, keeps hunting and creates advantages for everyone. James Harden needs to be careful.

But at some point, you might think, these shots should start to come in as the postseason progresses. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors beating the Suns, or even the Mavericks, where both Thompson and Curry are so inconsistent, especially since they don’t have an elite defense to turn to.

It’s a blank slate now. The Warriors have survived both rounds, and the score will start at 0-0 against whoever they play next. Curry and Thompson can put these wrong ways behind them and warm up at the right time, and if they do, the Warriors can beat anyone. But we have yet to see evidence that they can perform their ancient magic on a consistent basis.





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