The OKC Thunder blew out the Warriors last night once again in game 4, to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals. If not for Klay Thompson’s 19 straight points for the Warriors in the third quarter, the score would’ve been even more lopsided.
Typically in a game like this, Steph Curry will take over. But his numbers this series haven’t been what we’re accustomed to seeing. According to people close to him, he’s still not fully recovered from his knee injury.
Curry has been a shell of himself – missing shots, throwing away passes, losing his dribble, and completely unable to prove that there’s Curry-esque agility in that knee. “He’s playing at 70 percent, at best,” a source close to Curry told The Vertical. Curry refuses to make excuses, but privately the Thunder see something – no explosion, no ability to make the bigs switching onto him pay a price. Twenty points on 19 shots Tuesday night bore no resemblance to the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
Perhaps his knee is still a little gimpy, but that sounds like an excuse. The Thunder are doing a fantastic job staying with him when he runs off screens. Prior to the series beginning, Russell Westbrook said it would be important to be physical with Steph to deny him the ball and that’s what they’re doing.
He’s missing layups (where he jumps off of his healthy right leg) and the like, so I’m not sure we can point to a right knee injury there. Nor would “throwing away passes” usually lead you to believe a sore knee is the culprit. Also, let’s not forget that he dropped 41 points on Portland in his return game from the injury. He looked like his usual self in that game.
Let’s see how Golden State responds.