I’ve always lived under the philosophy that MVP’s are MVP’s for a reason. They figure out what needs to be done to take over games and most importantly, win. Steph Curry was a loathsome 2-13 from the three point line coming into game three. But he’s a pro and he’s a shooter. He wouldn’t stop shooting if he shot 2-400 from three. He started the game off in a similar vein, missing his first couple attempts, all clanging off the rim. Interestingly, he wasn’t the only superstar on the court making bad misses. Almost everyone besides Kevin Durant was slow out of the gate. Harden and Chris Paul were missing layups at the rim, which left openings for Golden State to build a lead heading into the half. And that’s when momentum swung drastically in favor of the Warriors. Steph Curry went ballistic in the third quarter, exploding into the lane, dropping in your face threes, ultimately shooting 8 of 9 from the field and delivering 18 points in the quarter. His confidence was back and it was clear as day he’d been dying for his shot to start falling again, as he and everyone at Oracle was hoping it would.
Steph Curry is in a small circle of players that have a seriously religious affect on me as a sports viewer. Only Kobe and MJ have ever had this surreally profound way of changing my human orientation as I watch them play. Every time Curry shoots the ball I expect it to go in – and when he misses I feel it emotionally. It’s a strange contrast between sorrow and pride, as no matter how many times he misses I always expect the next one to drop and the flood gates to open. Kobe did the same to me throughout his career, and before that Jordan literally had me sitting on the floor in my parent’s living room clutching a gold chain my uncle had given me, whispering prayers to God and kissing it repeatedly in hopes he would dismantle his opponents and never miss a shot. I guess that makes me a Curry fan. I love his game and even though I can’t help but roll my eyes a little and shift uncomfortably when he shimmies and does his crowd hype thing, I’m in awe of his play and his “Never back down” attitude. He has that in common with the greats – he really wants to win and thrives in that powerful stasis of “On Fire.”
The Warriors, with Curry leading the charge exploded to an insurmountable lead in the third and kept their feet on the throttle until the game was over. Quinn Cook and Javale McGee even got in the mix, feeling that transferable energy and shot lights out for their short stints in garbage time. All Harden and Chris Paul could do was sit on the bench and watch the clock tick away until the misery was over. It was beautiful.
Game four should be very exciting. It’s hard to believe Houston will play so badly again, but still their backs are against the wall. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the pressure of a must win road game at Oracle. Not the easiest place to get a desperation win. I have to assume that the Warriors will be jacked and ready to play. Curry wants to keep the momentum going with his shooting, and now that they can see a little through the clouds, the rest of the team will be chomping at the bit as well.
Game four will ultimately be the deciding factor (in my opinion) between this being a series or the inevitable Warriors repeat championship. Good luck, Houston, I think you’re gonna need it.