High fives from the Warriors’ 121-94 rout of the Rockets in Houston on Sunday …
Balls hates to say it told ya so, but yeah, Balls told ya so. No way should Stephen Curry have played the rest of the series against a sorry Rockets team that has zero chance to win the best-of-seven series, none whatsoever.
But play Curry did in Game 4. At least the guy tried to play. In 19 minutes, he shot 2 of 9 in the field, committed five turnovers and didn’t look himself. Is it possible that the reigning Most Valuable Player returned prematurely from the sprained right ankle that he sustained in the series opener? Kinda seems that way, doesn’t it?
Sure enough, on the final play in the second quarter, Curry slid awkwardly to the court at the defensive end. Curry clutched his right knee, but he might as well have grabbed the repeat bid by the throat. Because the easiest way for the Warriors to blow this thing is for their best player to be at less than his best.
When Curry got up off the floor, he struggled to put weight on his sprained knee while he limped off to the locker room. He came out with the team after halftime but sat on the bench for most of the warm-up period. He spoke with Steve Kerr and rest of the coaches then returned to the locker room. We’ll know more after an MRI today.
Here’s what Balls would tell Curry in advance of the clincher at Oracle Arena on Wednesday night: Don’t show up. Take Ayesha out to dinner. Play Chutes and Ladders with Riley. Prop up your leg and watch the game on television. But don’t go anywhere near a basketball court. Don’t even think about it.
2. Kerr had reservations about an extended layoff for Curry because he might get out sync. Good point. Scrimmages get a player acclimated for game conditions.
Yet Curry is one of those rare guys you can drag out of bed at 3 a.m., hand him a basketball and he’ll nail his first 25-footer with eyes wide shut. So, no, the rhythm thing applies less to him than the others.
3. How much did the Warriors miss Curry in the second half? So much that they dominated the Rockets by a 65-38 margin, went off for a team postseason record eight 3-balls in the third quarter and an NBA record 21 overall.
Hey, even Draymond Green and Klay Thompson showed up this time.
Thompson scored 23 points and drained 7 of 11 3-pointers. (Yeah, he was 7-11 all right — open all day.) Green had 18 points and six assists. And don’t forget Andre Iguodala, who scored 23 points and played like a guy who had been robbed of the Sixth Man of the Year Award.
4. At halftime, the score was Boredom 56, Warriors 56.
The Champs were lazy in transition, slow to loose balls. On defense, they were content to watch Dwight Howard dunk on them. The big loser drained all six of his field goal tries, three off lob passes from James Harden in the second quarter alone. Harden likes to pass to Howard almost as much as he likes women named Delilah to get near his beard.
5. So how many times are the Warriors gonna fall for that Meadowlark Harden ball trick at the 3-ball line?
You know, the one where Harden baits the defender to make a play on the ball before he goes up for the shot and pretends to draw contact. The one that led Kerr to scream “That was not a foul!” at the referees in he second quarter.
In the regular season, Harden connected on 36 percent of his 3-balls, the second-lowest figure of his career. Let. Him. Brick.
Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to email@example.com, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.Draymond GreenDwight HowardKlay ThompsonRocketsStephen CurryWarriors