How Mikal Bridges locked down Warriors’ Stephen Curry and forced the worst shooting night of his career in Suns win

In case you didn’t pay enough attention, Phoenix Suns it’s real. After they defeated Golden Empire Warriors, person 18-2 enters the game, 104-96, on Tuesday – none Devin Booker for the entire second half – it’s hard to argue that Phoenix isn’t NBABest team at the moment.

The win was Phoenix’s 17th in a row, setting a franchise record. After starting 1-3, the Sun hasn’t lost its way in November. If they beat the Warriors in a rematch on Friday (in San Francisco), they’ll only become the sixth team in NBA history any time. failure during a calendar month. The last team to do that, just enough, was the Warriors in 2015. They also performed flawlessly in November as part of their 24-0 opener.

Two stories of the game? Booker, who exited with a left hamstring injury midway through the second half, and Mikal . Bridge, who added another bullet point to his increasingly powerful defensive player resume by extinguishing Stephen the curry became the worst shot of his career when he took at least 20 shots.

With Bridges tracking his every move (and Phoenix converting and backing up its ace defender), Curry finished with just 12 points. He shot 3s to 14 from 3s. Before that, Curry’s worst shot with at least 20 hits was 5 with 21 shots, which he has authored twice, in 2016 and 2019, both of against Lakers.

To end the first half, Curry seemed to have finally taken Bridges out of his case by screening Draymond Greenman’s, DeAndre Ayton, force conversion. The amnesty was short-lived. Immediately after Curry beat Ayton to the belt, Bridges flew right back into his path to defeat his failed attempt.

Bridge is just an extraordinary defender. His length, his lateral movements, his intelligence, his screen navigation, his willingness to take over his entire fortune with much effort, are all elite. . Curry missed out on some open-minded looks, but that’s what happens in the face of constant pressure. It is a cumulative effect. Like a midfielder who missed an open fourth throw-in from a clean bag that had been falling on him all game. Once you get out of rhythm, everything gets rushed.

Curry is the greatest shooter to ever live and the league’s top scorer, but even he’s not immune to the influence of a defender like Bridges, who has done the same with James Harden on Saturday, capped the Brooklyn star at 12 points on a 4 of 15, 0 for 6 from a 3, with seven spins.

Watch here as the Bridge crosses the screen, attached to Harden, flies out Paul Millsap and cut his driveway before deflecting the pass back to Millsap to initiate the quick break he finished.

They say Kevin Durant is not affected by defense?

Bridges, who is usually not sloppy, scored just two points on Tuesday, but the Suns edged Golden State by 21 when he was on the floor. He stole four times. He denied Curry out of the symbol then jumped over the lane for the six – a game that really started to build momentum in Phoenix’s favor. He moved into Green’s position in the hand, vying for the top spot and stealing Curry’s pass. He didn’t foolishly help, or really help at all, at the cost of leaving Curry even a little bit of space.

The bridges don’t fall for any of Curry’s lullabies. He prevented the split action after coming on the field that the Warriors used to get Curry 3 clean points in every game. He didn’t lose him in the transition. If he gets cross-matched, someone else fills in. He was prepared. Be proactive and stay connected. He was wonderful.

However, Bridges knew that containing a player like Curry, let alone stopping him outright, couldn’t be one man’s job. Curry moves too much. Warriors pass too well. Bridges noted after the game that it was a team effort, and he was right. What makes the Sun great is that they don’t have any weaknesses. Everyone can do almost anything on either end.

Ayton rushed out to block one of Curry’s 3-pointers and defended superbly all night. As noted above, Chris Paul, a superb attacker like Bridges in defence with 15 points and 11 assists while dribbling and pulling up his mid-range with typical ease, had five steals as Suns returned. became the first team to hold the Warriors under triple digits this season.

It’s not an overreaction for a game to assume that the Suns might be the most equipped team to stop Curry. It doesn’t mean they will stop him like this every time they play. He could very easily hang 40 on a Friday. In fact, you might want to bet on that. In the end, if Curry continues, he’s unbelievable and he doesn’t often have two bad games in a row.

But if there’s any team that can upset Curry like that, it’s the Suns. It starts with Bridges, then flows down to all parts of Phoenix. And that applies to both ends of the deck. Switching is the name of the game. Phoenix can swap defenders for Curry, and on the other hand, when Curry is forced to switch, Phoenix can and will punish him in post. They did it with Ayton early and often on Tuesdays. No matter where Curry goes on defense against the Suns, he will be tested.

It speaks to how formidable the Phoenix is ​​on both ends. Again, no holes. That’s the key. They can take away what you’re best at, but you can’t take away everything they do. If Paul doesn’t beat you in pick-and-roll or with a clutch mid-range jumper, Booker will. If you switch to their player, they will go to Ayton in the post. If you stop scrolling, they will hit the angler by 3 points. They may run early but then there are also two of the late goalscorers in the league, Paul and Booker.

And bridges. Man. What a player. With a performance like this in such a high-profile game, it’s hard to argue that he’s not in the top two of the DPOY race; he and Draymond Green, in whatever order you want to put them, have seperated themselves, and the odds immediately mirrored Bridges’ performance against Curry.

It’s a big recalibration, but it’s still good value on Bridges in my opinion. It will be difficult for him to win; Wings are discriminated against in relation to this award in much the same way that defenders face when it comes to All-Star picks, something Bridges should also be in but probably won’t get in the end.

Either way, Bridges has an All-Star impact whichever way you cut it. It’s showing again on Tuesday, when the Sun sends out an overall memo to everyone who thinks they’re a good bet to retrace this year. Better think again. The sun is no joke. How Mikal Bridges locked down Warriors’ Stephen Curry and forced the worst shooting night of his career in Suns win


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