Although they eventually came away with the win, the Golden State Warriors struggled to fend off the NBA-worst Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night.
That victory came courtesy of Draymond Green, as Stephen Curry was quiet for most of the night. And despite the win, the Warriors still have major questions to answer ahead of the playoffs.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Herd on FS1, Colin Cowherd offered a plausible explanation for the two-time MVP’s lackluster play of late: He’s caught up in his own head, thanks to both LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
COLIN: “What I’m saying is, he’s in a real slump, and I don’t think it’s physical.
“I think LeBron got in his head. I think Kevin Durant’s in his head. I think it’s all upstairs. I think that there’s stuff going on with Steph Curry upstairs. He is not — again, nobody’s saying he’s a bad player. He is still an All-Star in this league. But he has gone from the premiere shooter, we were saying last year he’s the greatest shooter in league history.
“He’s now 11th among point guards [in 3-point shooting]? The Cavaliers as a team are shooting the same 3-point percentage [as Curry]. For the record, shouldn’t he be a better shooter this year? Kevin Durant’s never been more efficient, because you can’t double-team Durant. So Kevin Durant’s come over, and he’s more efficient shooting. Kevin Durant comes over, and Steph Curry is less efficient?”
If you watch Curry play these days, you’ll notice exactly what Cowherd is talking about. Even when he’s wide open, the Warriors point guard hesitates. It’s almost as if he’s looking to the future and a potential Finals rematch with LeBron’s Cavs. His mind seems to race: Will that same shot be as open against Cleveland? Will he have to shake the lockdown defender known as Kevin Love? Should he drive into the heart of the defense? Should he let it fly?
The need to bring KD back into the fold compounds the issue. Not only is Curry trying to beat the defense in front of him and the hypothetical defense he’ll face with a championship on the line, he’s also contemplating whether his newfound freedom will be a problem once Durant is healthy. Is “The Old Steph” the best fit alongside Durant? Is he better off as a facilitator? And why won’t Steve Kerr have his team run any Curry-Durant pick-and-rolls, for crying out loud?!?