Stephen Curry proves Warriors’ success still starts and ends with him, despite improved supporting cast

SAN FRANCISCO — In case you ever want proof that the success of the Golden State Warriors‘ season begins and ends with Stephen Curry, you want look no additional than their 115-113 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Thursday’s thrilling dwelling opener at Chase Heart.

The beginning: Curry made all 9 of his discipline objectives, all 5 of his 3-pointers and each of his free throws en path to 25 scorching first-quarter factors.

The top: Curry scored 10 of the Warriors’ remaining 13 factors, together with two dagger 3-point bombs, to seal a victory that just about slipped from their fingertips.

Named to the NBA seventy fifth Anniversary Workforce earlier than the sport, Curry completed with 45 factors and 10 rebounds on 16-for-25 capturing, together with 8-for-13 from 3-point vary. It was a blinding show on an evening when the Warriors held the NBA’s sole primetime highlight.  

“I anticipate all of them to go in, no matter how ridiculous a few of them are that he decides to take,” Warriors ahead Draymond Green mentioned of Curry’s capturing. “You continue to anticipate them to go in, as a result of he makes these ridiculous ass pictures, and that is what he is performed over the course of his profession. That is why he is develop into who he is develop into. That is why he is nice. That is why he is one of many prime gamers on this league and one of many prime gamers to ever play this sport. Robust shot taker, robust shot maker.”

Earlier than the sport, commissioner Adam Silver was taking images with followers exterior the high-end Miller & Lux steakhouse adjoining to the Chase Heart media entrance. Legendary Bay Space rapper E-40 carried out at halftime. The promise of a return to glory and potential coronation was within the air. None of this occurs if Curry is not nonetheless one of the crucial entertaining and transcendent gamers in basketball.

And but, the one-man present that Curry headlined final season has not been the theme in 2021-22. The preseason showcased a cohesive unit that includes a number of threats on each ends of the ground. The story of Golden State’s season-opening victory over LeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers on Tuesday was the supporting solid’s means to beat Curry’s 5-for-21 capturing night time — one thing final season’s Warriors virtually definitely would not have survived.

For the primary time in a minimum of a couple of years, the “power in numbers” mantra of the mid-2010s Warriors really applies.

“Not figuring out whose night time it is gonna be each night time, however having guys which can be capable of go on the market and compete, do what’s requested of them and simply go from there,” mentioned Damion Lee, who knocked down two clutch 3-pointers within the fourth quarter of Thursday’s win. “In case you have a look at the roster, we have quite a lot of guys seeking to proceed to show themselves on this league or guys on the again finish of their profession. Simply figuring out what you do, contributing each single night time. It would not matter who will get the reward.”

On Thursday, nevertheless, these numbers dwindled. Jordan Poole, who dazzled within the preseason and within the season opener, went 4-for-14 from the sphere and dedicated seven turnovers. Nemanja Bjelica, who had 15 factors in opposition to the Lakers, completed with six on Thursday and was held with out a 3-point try. Golden State additionally dedicated 21 turnovers in opposition to the Clippers, although Curry was an enormous a part of that downside with six of his personal.

So many features of this Warriors group — good and dangerous — had been on show all through the sport. The primary quarter was lovely, unselfish basketball that noticed Golden State shoot 15-for-19 from the ground and 9-for-13 from 3-point vary. Within the second quarter, they went 9-for-20 from the sphere, 1-for-5 from the 3-point line and dedicated eight turnovers.

Steph Curry is on the heart of all of it. He was clearly an enormous a part of the first-quarter explosion along with his 25 factors, however he was additionally a essential wrongdoer within the second-quarter decline, going 1-for-5 from the sphere and committing 4 turnovers because the Clippers ratcheted up their defensive physicality and Golden State’s vitality waned.

Even the Chase Heart crowd, similar as Oracle Enviornment, simply sounds totally different when Curry is on the ground. You could possibly watch the sport blindfolded and nonetheless acknowledge each single time Curry touched the ball due to the distinctive and indescribable buzz emanating from the stands. For a group taking part in in entrance of a packed stadium for the primary time in over a yr, it makes an enormous distinction when Curry is ready to deliver the keenness to a distinct degree.

“I feel our followers had an enormous half on this win. The vitality on the market was unbelievable,” Kerr mentioned after the sport. “It is so nice to really feel that vitality for the primary time in a pair years.”

Whereas the Warriors’ added depth raises their ceiling as a possible championship contender, notably when Klay Thompson and James Wiseman return to the fold, their destiny finally rests in Curry’s skillful palms. He is proving that final season was no fluke, that he can nonetheless carry out at an MVP degree, and that his new supporting solid may even take his sport to new heights.

“Hopefully we are able to proceed to construct tradition and a real home-court benefit right here,” Curry mentioned after the sport. “As a result of it is going into the third season (at Chase Heart) and we have not had that chance but.” | Stephen Curry proves Warriors’ success nonetheless begins and ends with him, regardless of improved supporting solid


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