2. Stephen Curry underperformed
Game 3 saw a version of Stephen Curry with a clear understanding of what was required from him. With Thompson out, he would have to carry a majority of the offensive burden. Win, lose or draw, that meant going down swinging.
Despite a loss in that game, Curry was hardly to blame in finishing with 47 points on a respectable 14-for-31 shooting. Klay was very much present in Game 6, but it was clear Steph would have to come close to replicating that performance in order to give the Warriors a puncher’s chance.
Those inside Oracle waited for one more patented eruption, the likes of which they’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Instead, Steph’s fireball shot-making never saw the light of day. He finished the night with 21 points, having hit only three of his 11 attempts from downtown.
In respect to the two-time MVP, his off night was caused in part by a strategic Raptors team that did a tremendous job of taking the ball out of his hands with traps at every turn. Rather than force the issue, Curry quickly dished the rock and allowed his teammates to make plays.
There are stretches throughout the course of a game, however, that requires a superstar to assert a certain level of dominance. The game plan goes out the window, and the notion of a bad shot along with it. When Klay went down with 2:22 remaining in the third, the stage was unfortunately set for Steph to take over as many of his stature have done before him.
Instead, he registered just four points the rest of the way with the game still very much up for grabs. Opposite him in the matchup (at times) was VanVleet, who scored 12 in the same stretch, helping Toronto seal the deal.
The idea that Steph fails to perform come postseason time is laughable, without the numbers to back it up. With his team heading into the final frame up two, though, it was on the franchise superstar to bring it home as he helped do in Game 5. Curry didn’t, and there is certainly justifiable criticism in that if he is the player many claim him to be.