Daniels: I Don't Know What Adjustments Portland Can Make

Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals did not go well for Portland, and Antonio Daniels doesn't see it getting much better

Reiter Than You
May 16, 2019 - 8:02 am
Steph Curry Seth Curry Warriors Trail Blazers NBA

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Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals didn’t go well for the Portland Trail Blazers. They were outscored 39-23 in the fourth quarter, lost 116-94, and allowed Steph Curry to hit nine three-pointers. 

Portland can try to make adjustments in Game 2, sure, but the result might not get much better.

“These are the Golden State Warriors,” Antonio Daniels said on Reiter Than You. “There’s a reason that they’re picked every year for the past four or five years to win an NBA championship. People are saying Houston should break it apart, they should tear it up. Why? Because they lost to the best team in basketball four out of five years? Yes, Portland is overmatched. They’re playing against an incredible basketball team. I don’t know what adjustments they can make. You have to play and cater to the guys that you have on that roster.”

Golden State shot 17-of-33 (51.5 percent) from three in Game 1 – in part because the Blazers didn’t do a great job contesting shooters on screens.

Of course, Enes Kanter and Zach Collins can’t exactly guard Curry on the perimeter.

“What is the alternative? They’re not the Houston Rockets,” Daniels said. “Today’s guards – Steph Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard – are more skilled now than they’ve ever been. If you’re a guy like Terry Stotts, the only adjustment you can possibly make is to go small. You can’t make Enes Kanter’s feet faster. You can’t make Zach Collins’ feet faster. It is what it is. You’re guarding the best shooter of all time and the best-shooting backcourt of all time. To make adjustments sounds great, but it’s more difficult than what it takes.”

Especially when going against Curry.

“He’s the best shooter of all time, in my opinion, and that’s without debate,” Daniels said. “That is without debate. I don’t think you can throw anyone else in that conversation that holds a torch even close to Steph Curry as far as shooting a basketball is concerned.”

Some players – such as Steve Kerr, Jeff Hornacek, and John Paxson – were catch-and-shoot specialists, Daniels explained. Others, such as Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, could shoot off the dribble.

And then there’s Curry, who can shoot…however – and wherever – he wants.

“There’s not a guy in this league in history that can shoot the ball like Steph Curry from distance with that accuracy and the ability to put the ball on the floor and be just as accurate,” Daniels said. “He’s the greatest shooter of all time in my humble opinion.”

Click below to listen to Daniels’ interview in its entirety.