Stephen Curry couldn’t singlehandedly deliver the Warriors to a win over the Knicks on Wednesday night, despite a breathtaking 54-point performance that amounts to his coming-out party on the national stage as a NBA star.He tried, really.
Curry has matured from reticent star-in-the-making to a guy who nearly won the game for the Warriors, but he won over the fans in Madison Square Garden with a 54-point performance Wednesday in Golden State’s 109-105 loss to the New York Knicks.
That shooting display was awesome in the face of a Knicks’ defense that chased Curry around the court like teams did when he became a collegiate superstar at Davidson. When teams start double-teaming Curry, he is able to show his true skill … making great decisions to find an open teammate. It’s rare for a scorer like Curry to be so willing and so good at sharing the ball.
Curry has a huge night in Indiana on Tuesday, but not so much for his big scoring night. When David Lee got into a scuffle with gigantic Roy Hibbert, Curry went after Hibbert like a much, much too small bulldog trying to help a teammate.
Hibbert’s 7-foot and … he’s monstrously big. Curry’s not that tall and not that big. But, when Hibbert shoved him away … Curry bounced right back up and went back at Hibbert. A Pacers player pulled Curry back and Hibbert pushed him again. Curry went right back at Hibbert.
I don’t think there’s any good place for fighting in the NBA or anywhere else. But, in order to lead a team, a guy has to be willing to protect his teammates, fight for them when necessary … if it means going after a guy a foot taller and hundred pounds heavier.
Curry’s not the passive shooter who might or might not want to be the lead guy in the Warriors run to a playoff berth. He is clearly aware that he is The Man who must, at times, put the Warriors on his back and do whatever is necessary to show his mates that losing isn’t an option … even if a loss is the ultimate result.
We’ll remember the 54 points in the Garden, but we might remember Curry doggedly going after Hibbert because that’s what leaders do even more clearly somewhere the down the line.