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Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the yin and yang of the Warriors

There was no panic in the voices and words of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green on Thursday night. Despite a completely failed last quarter that had allowed the Celtics to take control of the series with authority, the two leaders of the Warriors were calm. They were again in training on Saturday. They were so much that one could wonder if it wasn’t just a facade.

However, the two players were not born from the last rain. This is their sixth NBA Finals together. They have experienced all types of scenarios in the playoffs. They have seen and beaten all types of opponents. This calm is therefore not a simple posture. Their experience allows them to have perspective on this first setback when many saw the Warriors in great danger.

An infectious calm

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are also aware that most of their teammates do not have the same experience as them. As the strong winger said after qualifying for the final, the young players follow his example. If he plays with confidence, the rest of the squad will do the same. If he remains impassive after a raging defeat, his team will take their cue from him and Stephen Curry.

This calm, however, hides an ironclad determination. Stephen Curry even admitted not having slept well after the Game 1 defeat. Draymond Green was self-critical. Instead of being consumed by their frustration, the two acolytes redoubled their intensity, rigor and calm to lead the Warriors to an impressive victory of strength and control.

Steph Curry sets the tone in attack, and it’s up to me to do the same in defense, and I wanted to make sure we started the game in the best possible way, explains Draymond Green, who took the ball from Al Horford on the first possession of the game to force a jump ball.

Curry wasn’t surprised. He knew before anyone else that Tornado Green was coming.

Five minutes after Game 1, he says. It was then that he knew. ” Just by what he said and what he showed. He knew what he had to do. This kind of thing does not necessarily appear on the stat sheet but you feel its presence, its intensity. The adversary too, and it’s contagious. »

Draymond Green and defensive intensity

Kenny Atkinson had told us in half a word on Saturday: the Warriors were satisfied with their game plan, with the exception of a few tactical adjustments and above all a need to be harder, more physical, and more intense. ” We had to be more focused and play the aggressor, and I think we got that from the first minutes, confirmed Steve Kerr. ” Draymond has been huge for us in this area. »

One of the adjustments was to put Draymond Green on Jaylen Brown and shift Klay Thompson on Al Horford. This tactical choice neutralized the Dominican pivot, who took only four shots, none of which were 3-pointers. While Brown started strong, scoring 4 of his first 6 shots, Green’s intensity wore him down.

Draymond set the tone with his physical aggression on Jaylen Brown, “said Kevon Looney. ” He fired up defense. And when he does that, everyone follows him. We couldn’t go to Boston down 2-0, it was a big game for us, and everyone responded”described Gary Payton II, back tonight in the Golden State rotation for the first time after breaking his elbow in Game 2 against Memphis.

As a good leader, Green nevertheless wanted to highlight the effort made by his teammates on this side of the field. Looney, Wiggins, Payton, Curry, and even Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, who were struggling with their shots, all rose to the challenge.

Everyone was tougher. It wasn’t just me, it was everyone. If I’m the only one to be more intense, it won’t work,” he sums up. ” It is a collective effort. The guys were ready to come help and they held their one on one. »

This defensive performance really started in the second quarter. The Warriors held Boston to 20 points on 7 of 24 shooting. The attack then followed after the break to help them get away.

Stephen Curry, the maestro

Since the start of the series and despite a defense constantly focused on him, Stephen Curry has managed to find the loopholes to make Marcus Smart and the assists who arrive when he attacks the racket pay. While Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole were absent in the first half, Curry managed to score 15 points while playing fair.

He was amazing in his decision making. He played without the ball. He did not enter traffic. He took what the defense gave him. In the first six minutes, he was 0 points but he did not force anything,” says Draymond Green. ” He let the game come to him and we all followed his example. »

This patience turned into a minimal number of lost balls for Stephen Curry (2), but also for the rest of his teammates (12 in total). The two-time MVP upped the ante in the third quarter and the pressure he put on the Celtics’ defense eventually cracked their defense.

Steph was breathtaking in this third quarter, even said Steve Kerr after the meeting. Like Draymond Green, the interested party preferred to relativize his performance, preferring to put his accuracy on the stroke of his experience and a perfect knowledge of his role and the influence he has on the game of his crew.

This season, I have to be aggressive throughout the game. I have to create, I have to get attention, I have to get shots, and most of all keep putting pressure on the defense, he explains. ” Since the beginning of the series, when I do what is necessary, either we got good shots or the ball continues to circulate and that helped our offense to set up, especially tonight. And when we take good shots, we don’t lose the ball, it helps our defense. We will see how it will evolve outside but for the moment it works well. »

This is exactly what happened in the third quarter. The Warriors looked, more than usual, for advantageous matchups allowing him to attack Robert Williams or Al Horford. The two-time MVP led the way throughout the quarter, scoring 14 points including three award-winning shots that allowed Golden State to put the Celtics’ head underwater as they tried to stay in ambush.

“He knows that at times he has to sacrifice his shots to find us, and tonight he found the perfect balance”

Despite all the trophies and records gleaned by the leader of the Warriors, we continue to underestimate him. Unlike a LeBron James or a Giannis Antetokounmpo, there is a recipe for slowing Curry down. The Grizzlies, the Cavs, and many others have shown that by being extremely physical with him and trying to trap him with big guys, he can be a waste. The Celtics have the perfect roster to implement that kind of strategy and yet Curry continues to put his mark on this series.

It’s not new. Our adversaries have been trying to defend him like this for years, and we know how to approach that kind of approach, sighs Kevon Looney. ” He is much stronger than before. He is in rhythm. He knows that at times he has to sacrifice his shots to find us, and tonight he found the perfect balance.. »

With a different squad than previous years and Klay Thompson struggling after two games, Stephen Curry is using the experience he’s gained over the past two seasons to find the right balance for the good of the team.

It’s an accumulation of the last two years and understanding that this balance is different, he explains. ” The scoring, the creation, I try to stay in control, to be calm, to read the game, to feel the rhythm of the match, and to play accordingly. I can use all the experience acquired between 2015 and 2019, and during his last two years to make the right choices. »

Curry – Green, a complementary duo

Through Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors are sure of their strength. They know their identity, they set the standard for the rest of their teammates to follow. The calm projected after Game 1, the determination shared before Game 2, and this intensity and concentration demonstrated this night therefore served as a barometer for Golden State.

Nobody panicked. Everyone was on the same page, and we knew that if we played our game, we could regain control of the series. It’s not done yet, but we’ve put ourselves in a situation that should allow us to do it, and that’s what’s important, finished Draymond Green, referring to the need to win one of Boston’s next two games to regain home-court advantage. ” It was up to me to send this message. And the guys followed suit, especially on defense. If I don’t send this message, who can? »

Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are the yin and yang of Golden State. Their way of leading their troops is complementary. Curry is the quiet force, leading by example every day without needing to talk much. Green brings him the emotional side. It is the fire, the soul of the team. They know each other like the back of their hands and this complicity has made the Warriors almost unbeatable for eight years.

We could have put Draymond on Coach Udoka, and given how he started the match, it would still have been a game-changer.,” laughs Curry.

The smiles were in order after the victory in Game 2, but they soon gave way to a familiar calm. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are on a mission, and the rest of the Warriors are standing at attention.

Interview in San Francisco.

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