OAKLAND, Calif. – The strategy of defending Stephen Curry was a test subject for Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts after the Golden State Warriors star torched the Blazers 116-94 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals
After Curry scored a game-high 36 points Tuesday night, Stotts responded with dry sarcasm when asked if he considered using traps like the Houston Rockets did in the previous round instead of having the big man drop back in pick-and-roll coverage
"I can not remember – when he had 33 in the second half, were they trapping then? " Stotts said, referring to Curry's performance in the Game 6 win to close the semifinals conference against the Rockets. "They were? And he scored 33 in the second half? OK, yeah, we'll look at that."
Portland is surely looking for solutions after Curry matched his career playoff high for 3-pointers with nine on 1
"That was a very poor defense defensively on our part," said Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who scored 19 points but was only 4-of -12 from the floor and committed seven turnovers. "Just having our bigs back that far, understanding the team we're playing against, they're not going to shoot midrange jumpers and try to attack the rim." "They're going to tell you. (19659002) "That's the last thing we need if we get it, "
Center Enes Kanter confirmed that the Blazers' game plan against Curry was for the defender's on-ball to fight through the screens, while the big man dropped back in coverage. In the fourth quarter, we've changed it, "said Kanter." But I think it's going to change in the second game. "
While Curry finished the second round with a flourish – scoring all 33 of his Game 6 points in the second half, including 23 in the fourth quarter – he struggled for most of the series against Rockets. Curry had a particularly poor shooting series, hitting only 40.3 percent of his shots from the floor and 27.9 percent from the 3-point range in the West Semifinals.
Curry had no such problems Tuesday night when he picked up Portland apart, going 12
Figuring out better ways to contain Curry will be one of Portland's primary focus during the day off before Game 2.
"Anything but what we did it tonight, "Blazers guard CJ McCollum said.