After setting the record for the most three pointers in a season with 272, Stephen Curry followed up his impressive regular season with an even more brilliant postseason performance. If he wasn’t a household name before the playoffs last year, he certainly was afterwards.
Coming into this season, expectations for Curry and the Warriors are sky-high. With the addition of Andre Iguodala, the team is now a contender in the Western Conference. And now that he is more widely known, there are personal expectations set for Curry. His dazzling three-point ability is must watch theater, and fans are tuning in, just to see him shoot the ball. In fact, it’s almost disappointing when a Warriors possession ends without Curry hoisting another trademark triple.
But fans are not the only ones who are paying more attention to Curry. Even though he has always been known as a knock-down shooter, opposing teams are focusing in on him more than ever this year. But even with added pressure from the defense, Curry is still managing to find shots. Part of this is because he can let fire from anywhere within 30 feet and can do it so quickly the defenders can’t block his shot even when they try. But another part of this is what the Warriors are doing to find him open looks.
Through two games this season, Curry is 11-19 from downtown (including a 9-14 performance last night against the Clippers). Sure, it’s only been two games (#SmallSampleSizeTheatreAlert), but there’s never a bad time to look at Curry’s three-point prowess. Curry has managed to find himself open through numerous avenues, but let’s take a look in this video at a play that comes up multiple times.
These four clips should look similar, and that’s because they are. The Warriors have used this action frequently through the first two games, in an effort to free Curry up for open looks. It starts with Curry bringing the ball down the court, usually in a secondary break. As he gets past half court, he slows a bit, waiting for his big men to catch up. As he pauses temporarily, those same big men set a double screen, which more often than not, leads to an open shot for Curry.
It’s a simple way to get Curry an easier look. With the opponents getting back in transition, their defense is not always set, which makes the screens work even more effectively. Plus, the double screen almost always picks off Curry’s defender, either leaving Curry with shot or forcing a big man to step towards him, in which case Curry can beat him off the dribble.
Be sure to keep an eye out for this as you check out Curry and the Warriors this year.
(And yes, I did set that video to Mozart.)