Steph Curry’s play hides many of Golden State’s flaws

Steph Curry's game hides some pretty serious flaws with the Warriors.

Steph Curry’s game hides some pretty serious flaws with the Warriors.
Picture: Getty Images

Steph Curry lights it up on a Saturday night prime time, while Mike Breen delivers an emphatic “bang!” as a background choir is a familiar scene. Curry is only four games into his final comeback from his second serious injury of the season, but the Milwaukee Bucks presented a litmus test for the Warriors of the Golden State at home. The Bucks have been basketball’s best team since Jan. 23, and the Golden State needed a benchmark to compare their progress.

In his post-game presser after the 125-116 win Steve Kerr congratulated Golden State on how they finished, stating they had demonstrated “championship stuff.” This phrase is a common refrain from everyone on the roster or the coaching staff Golden State delivers a big win. It’s similar to Bugs Bunny’s “secret things“Space Jam Placebo. At this point in the season, however, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe those words in anything but motivational gibberish. Overall, Golden State still feels like a borderline honor roll that’s getting some farewell hype.

Steph Curry hides all the warts of the warriors

Saturday’s win saved Golden State from falling off a cliff, but Curry is a master illusionist at hiding the Warriors’ warts. For one thing, the road is their fatal flaw. At home, where they are 28-7, the Warriors can take care of business. On the street they are 7-26. The 67 percent split between their home win percentage (80 percent) and away win percentage (21.2 percent) would still be that second worst in league history.

Curry’s solar flare resulted in 11 points in the 1:51 final, which overwhelmed the Bucks in crunch time and sent the contest into overtime. It could have ended sooner if Draymond Green had half a second more whipping a pass to Curry on the wing rather than taking the potential game-winning shot himself. And in overtime, Curry harnessed the energy of the crowd to deliver the coup de grace.

Donte DiVincenzo loves playing against the team that drafted him, averaging 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two games against the Bucks this season, but he can’t be counted on on the street. Additionally, Andrew Wiggins’ month-long absence for undisclosed personal reasons is another hurdle for Golden State, and it doesn’t appear he’s in the fast lane either.

And yet Saturday’s win put the Warriors just 2.5 games behind one of the top 4 seeds. However, the need for overtime to beat the East-leading Bucks (who didn’t even field a two-time MVP) throws a cloud around the win.

Just two nights earlier, Golden State lost for the third consecutive year to a Memphis Grizzlies team that was without Ja Morant in the lineup. On Saturday, Giannis Antetokounmpo was absent as well. Milwaukee was fortunate to face the Nets and Magic in its first two games while Antetokounmpo was resting “a sore hand,” but those two teams were easy work.

Can Golden State go the distance this season?

A statement win over the Giannis-less Bucks would have been a comfortable, runaway win. Instead, Golden State had to rely on Milwaukee being wasted the lead away. After Jrue Holiday lost his dribble with 27 seconds left and the Bucks had a three-goal, Curry took the opportunity to knot it with a three-pointer on 111. On the Bucks’ final possession in the fourth quarter, Curry provided textbook help on defense, hitting Holiday on point as he drove into the paint and, arms outstretched, leaping straight up to hit Holiday’s potential game winner.

The Bucks eventually ran out of gas in overtime, but it was a win that illustrates the strength of Milwaukee’s supporting line-up.

It’s one thing to be Golden State from its peak in December, but it’s another for them to still be tinkering above the .500 threshold as the playoffs draw closer. Milwaukee was a win they needed to stay out of a dangerous play-in tournament scenario, but finals are approaching and Golden State still sits on the pass-fail fence. Steph Curry’s play hides many of Golden State’s flaws

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