Why no one guards Steph Curry this way | NBA Finals Game 4 analysis

Why no one guards Steph Curry this way | NBA Finals Game 4 analysis

Why has Steph Curry put up such huge scoring numbers in the NBA Finals against the Celtics? How has this series differed from his previous appearances in the NBA Finals? This film room study details Boston’s defensive coverage against Curry pick-and-rolls, and how Curry was able to explode for 43 points and 7 3-pointers in Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals, along with a crucial offense-defense substation strategy from Steve Kerr down the stretch.

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Ben Taylor is the author of Thinking Basketball, a Nylon Calculus contributor, creator of the Backpicks Top 40 series & host of the Thinking Basketball podcast.

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Footage in this video is owned by the NBA and its partners. It is intended for critique and education.

Music by csus (instrumental)


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44 Responses

  1. Mr. Plow says:

    It’s remarkable how many “analysts” see Curry getting doubled and passing to the open roller and then assume his lower scoring numbers are a result of choking, lack of aggressiveness, etc. And now that he’s facing the kind of drop defenses that he eviscerated in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, suddenly he’s worthy of being “the man”.

    So many of these people make millions of dollars and don’t even realize why a guy is passing vs. scoring. Thanks as always for your expert breakdowns, Ben!

    • Chunky Werk says:

      Yeah it’s the reason magic is my goat he could’ve easily averaged 30 but instead In my opinion he averaged around 40 cause he opened most of those shots for his team but he’ll never get credit even though he was the reason Kareem ended up dominating and Wining rings in his later years. He made the whole team able to score instead of just himself he was a below average defender though and some games he stepped it up a little.

    • Ike Jon-Ubabuco says:

      It’s honestly a joke how terrible basketball analysis is on those sports news channels.

      They just watch highlights and read boxscores. That’s it.

    • cr4zyftw says:

      lower scoring numbers in the finals? hes always had high scoring numbers in the finals and he still got a lot of iso shots in his finals runs… hes not puttting up 20-23fga per game if he was getting trapped every single possession..

    • Zoe Sh says:

      EXACTLY 🎯🎯🎯🎯. Him scoring anything over 20 is actually impressive af

    • Shemzinho says:

      ding ding ding. You understand the bullshit narrative that the analysts spew about Wardell

  2. Kevin AndrewsPhoto says:

    Wow I feel so stupid when I watch your breakdowns because it makes so much sense. Draymond isn’t “choking” necessarily. But Celtics playing drop coverage removes 90% of Drays offensive game. Being the roll man looking for the open guy. So a team can either trap Steph and risk Draymond dishing the ball all over the court and get the whole team going. Or play drop coverage and hope Steph can’t beat you alone.

    • Rushking20 #Cheesehead says:

      So celtics basically saying wed rather Steph beat us then draymond lol they’re crazy

    • Dan Gerous says:

      @AS actually he does take some of those 3s but he’s an awful shooter, so that actually benefits the Celtics

    • trap says:

      @zerocal76 lmao what? he’s literally an elite playmaker.

      the celtics have decided that they’d rather give the greatest shooter EVER comfortable looks at the basket over giving draymond 4 on 3’s. that’s literally the biggest compliment anyone could give.

    • Nate Krackeler says:

      I came into the comments to say this exact thing but you beat me to it. Great comment.

    • BlackMarq20 says:

      @zerocal76 Nope I’ve watched damn near every Warriors game for the past 7-8 years and he’s not playing well, he’s been the worst player on the floor for both teams. Yes we know he’s not that great of a scorer and is more of a facilitator, but he’s missing open layups at the rim and is now even afraid to shoot. He has more fouls than points, which is just ridiculous, because he actually used to be a decent scorer who could get you 8-12 pts. Also he hasn’t been consistent on defense throughout the series, if you go back and look at Game 1 he left his man wide open and was primarily responsible for Horford hitting 6 threes, he didn’t close out anybody in Game 1, he’s getting smoked by Brown. GS should be up 3-1, if Draymond was playing like he was earlier this season. Also Draymond has reached his defensive peak like 5 years ago, the fact that he hasn’t worked his shooting at all is mind-boggling to me. No other player in the NBA gets the amount of space on 3s as him, these should be practice shots for him.

  3. pipol champ says:

    no cap, your breakdowns are the most detailed and easiest to understand out of all breakdown channels.

  4. mightdai says:

    I actually noticed Kerr subbing out Draymond late in the 4th but I didn’t notice subbing him in and out during fouls. Actual brilliant adjustments and a tough choice to make as a coach but it worked. Can’t blame Kerr this game

  5. Jon A. Scholt says:

    As awesome as Curry was last night I thought Wiggins did a ton to keep them in the game in the late 3rd and early 4th when they were chasing Boston’s lead. His rebounding and scoring kept them in striking range

    • Darien Hawthorne says:

      @Orion33 Tatum is going to get criticized even if celtics win the championship, saying he road browns coattails. This is a team, no one person can win in the NBA
      Steph curry had Wiggins and decent collective defense

    • Vegeta King says:

      He had 2 huge off-rebs and then putback for 4 points when Gs was trailing 5 with less than 5:30 mins left! That was huge like super huge!

    • big sauce says:

      If they had wiggins instead of harrison barnes in the 2016 finals, they beat the cavs easily

    • Orion33 says:

      People are hating on tatum too and theyre forgetting Wiggins has been clamping every star down this playoffs for the most part

    • Nicholas Cummings says:

      Wiggins needed to be the second or third best player and he was.

      Boston wins if Tatum and Jaylen are the second and third best and one Celtic rounds out the best five guys on the floor.

      Warriors win if Wiggins can be the second or third best player.

  6. Wil Dasovich says:

    Love these breakdowns! Keep ‘em comin

  7. Pushkaraj Kalkar says:

    Amazing breakdown! Especially the reason behind drop coverage defense against curry and how it worked out with the Draymond green’s short pass to looney possession. That was brilliant!
    I am new to the game of basketball, never played it. In India, we are cricket fans and enjoy it because I understand slight nuances of that game. Getting insights like this makes me enjoy and appreciate the game of basketball way better. So thank you!!

    Cricket commentators discuss technical things more thoroughly . I see that missing a bit in basketball.

    • zpe1200 says:

      Curry is like Sashin, small but powerful and a killer scoring, but on the field or defense not the best.

  8. Cameron Smith says:

    Boston’s problem is chucking up 3’s when they get down in the 4th. Game 1 was crazy but no one will replicate that again.

    • FuzzyDunlop says:

      @Brian Birnbaum but they don’t need to.

    • Easter Smith says:

      Yep. Smart in particular should be a biiiit more like Draymond and use his speed and passing to scramble the defense instead of settling for a three when there’s still so much time left to play.

      The Warriors are taking the opposite approach compared to Boston, clamping down on Tatum and having Klay glued to Brown, daring the rest of the Celtics to beat them. White and Horford got hot in game 1, but Smart has the most potential to confuse and demoralize the Warriors defense.

      Draymond can and should do the same though. Ben is right that the single coverage on Curry takes away some of Draymond’s playmaking, but the least he can do is cut and commit to a few drives. In game 4, it was sooooo obvious that he was going to pass whenever he got the ball. He would pick up the ball immediately.

      At least post up or jog around. Just do something to make the Celtics think.

    • Dusk says:

      Their management of their offense in the fourth was indeed absolutely shameful, especially for what good they did up to that point.

    • Brian Birnbaum says:

      This is what gave me hope after game 1. Boston shot the lights out. I was like, okay, if they do that three more times they deserve it, but I don’t think they can.

  9. 詹大衛 David Zhan says:

    Awesome breakdown.

  10. Bob Dole says:

    Yeah, Curry is getting his, but the Celtics have done a pretty dang good job keeping the Warriors as a whole contained. Warriors have scored 108, 107, 100, and 107 – no games where the offense has just gone off, only Curry.

    All the games the Warriors have won have been because their defense has kept the Celtics below 100.

    Game 5 is going to be huge – the winner likely wins the series.

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