Bucher: Curry Isn't Injured; He's Rusty

Steph Curry has looked out of sync in the Western Conference Finals

Tiki and Tierney
May 17, 2018 - 6:24 pm

USA Today Images


Steph Curry has not been at his best through two games of the Western Conference Finals, but it’s not because he’s injured, Ric Bucher said. Rather, it’s because he’s rusty.

“He made Harden work in Game 1,” Bleacher Report senior NBA writer said on Tiki and Tierney. “He may not have stopped him, but he made Harden really work – and that’s all I can ask of a Steph Curry in that situation. Physically, he’s not going to be able to stay in front of Harden on a consistent basis.”

Ironically, Curry’s shooting has been perhaps his biggest liability. He has shot 15-of-34 (44.1 percent) in the series, including 2-of-13 (15.4 percent) from three.

“Look, I don’t think he’s hurt,” Bucher said. “Do I think he’s coming back and still tying to get his legs under him? He missed six weeks. This is kind of training camp for him all over again, and you’re having to do it at a time when the game is being played twice as fast and twice as hard. When we saw him with the sprained ligament when he got it in the playoffs (in 2016) and he played in the Finals and they ended up losing and he couldn’t go by Kevin Love – that what’s told me, ‘He’s not right. He is comprised.’”

That hasn’t been the case this series. Curry is getting shots at the rim. He’s just not converting.

“He’s going by guys offensively,” Bucher said. “So I’m not seeing enough of his game being compromised. I think this is rust or conditioning or getting back on the same page with his teammates. I don’t think it’s an injury issue; I think it’s a conditioning issue.”

With Curry still working his way back in the fold, Kevin Durant has been lights out in this series. He scored 37 points in Game 1, 38 in Game 2, and has shot 27-of-49 (55.1 percent) from the floor, including 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from three.

Draymond Green, however, has been quiet. He scored just five points in Game 1 and just six in Game 2. 

“The biggest issue in Game 2 was not Steph Curry; It was Draymond Green,” Bucher said. “That was as underwhelming a playoff performance as I’ve seen from Draymond. Didn’t score, just wasn’t the same factor in a multitude of ways, wasn’t the playmaker – the things that he does that make him special and that make the Warriors special, I saw those in limited supply in Game 2. I would fully expect going back home for Games 3 and 4, you will see the Draymond Green that we’re used to seeing.”

Games 3 and 4 are Sunday and Tuesday, respectively, at 8 and 9 p.m. ET.