Steph Curry’s play hides a lot of Golden State’s flaws

Steph Curry's game hides some pretty serious flaws in the Warriors.

Steph Curry’s game hides some pretty serious flaws in the Warriors.
Picture: Getty Images

Steph Curry lights it up on a primetime Saturday night as Mike Breen delivers a “Bang!” emphatic. for the background chorus is a familiar scene. Curry is just four games away from his final comeback after his second major injury of the season, but the Milwaukee dollars presented a litmus test for Golden State Warriors at home. The Bucks have been the best team in basketball since Jan. 23, and Golden State needed a measuring stick to compare their progress.

In his post-match presser after their 125-116 win, Steve Kerr praised Golden State for the way they closed by explaining that they demonstrated “championship stuff.” This phrase is a common refrain from anyone on the roster or the coaching staff at all times Golden State delivers big win. It looks like Bugs Bunny’s”secret stuffPlacebo Space Jam. However, at this point in the season, it’s getting harder and harder to believe those words for anything other than motivational gibberish. Overall, Golden State still runs like a borderline honor roll receiving hype.

Steph Curry hides all Warriors warts

Saturday’s win kept Golden State from falling off the cliff, but Curry is a master illusionist, hiding the Warriors’ warts. On the one hand, the road is their fatal flaw. At home, where they are 28-7, the Warriors can take care of business. On the road, they are 7-26. The 67% split between their home (80%) and away (21.2%) winning percentage would still be the second worst in league history.

Curry’s solar flare led to 11 points in the 1:51 final that overwhelmed the Bucks in crunchtime and sent the contest into overtime. It could have ended sooner if Draymond Green had had an extra half second to whip a pass to Curry on the wing instead of taking the potentially game-winning shot himself. And in overtime, Curry fed on the energy of the crowd to deliver the knockout blow.

Donte DiVincenzo enjoys playing against the team that drafted him, averaging 18.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two games against the Bucks this season, but he can’t be counted on the road. Additionally, Andrew Wiggins’ absence for a month for undisclosed personal reasons is another hurdle for Golden State and it doesn’t look like he’s in the fast lane either.

And yet, Saturday’s win put the Warriors just 2.5 games shy of a top-four seed. However, needing overtime to beat the East-leading Bucks (who didn’t even dress as MVPs twice) casts a cloud over victory.

Just two nights earlier, Golden State lost its third straight game to a Memphis Grizzlies team that flew out without Ja Morant in the roster. Saturday, the absence of Giannis Antetokounmpo weighed just as heavy. Milwaukee had the chance to face the Nets and Magic in their first two games while Antetokounmpo rested a “sore hand,” but both of those teams were light work.

Can Golden State go the distance this season?

A declaration victory over the Bucks without Giannis would have been a comfortable and searing victory. Instead, Golden State had to rely on Milwaukee to squander the lead away. After Jrue Holiday lost his dribble with 27 seconds remaining in regulation and the Bucks ahead by three, Curry used the opportunity to tie it all up at 111 with a triple. On the Bucks’ last possession in the fourth quarter, Curry provided a textbook assist defense, beating Holiday on the spot as he drove into the paint, jumping straight with his arms outstretched to crush Holiday’s potentially game-winning float.

In overtime, the Bucks eventually ran out of gas, but it was a win that showcased the strength of Milwaukee’s supporting cast.

It’s one thing for Golden State to be off their peak in December, but it’s another for them to still tinker above the .500 line heading into the playoffs. Milwaukee was a win they needed to stay out of a dangerous tournament scenario, but final exams are approaching and Golden State is still sitting on the fence of success.

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