The Houston Rockets have adopted the Cleveland Cavaliers’ strategy of frequently attacking Stephen Curry on the defensive end.
Curry has been targeted more in these playoffs than ever before in his career.
After the Rockets’ stagnant Game 1 loss, they upped the energy and showed why they were one of the NBA’s elite offenses all season, beating the Warriors in Game 2 to even the series.
The Houston Rockets have made clear one of their priorities on offense in the Western Conference Finals: attacking Stephen Curry.
The game plan is one the Cleveland Cavaliers featured prominently in the NBA Finals, particularly in 2016, when they won the championship. They often had whoever Curry was guarding set a screen for Kyrie Irving or LeBron James, forcing a switch so they could attack the Warriors’ weakest defender.
The Rockets have adopted the strategy, and it helped in Game 2, as they came up with a huge 127-105 win to even the series at 1-1.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, the Rockets targeted Curry on 23 possessions in Game 2, up from 20 in Game 1. He guarded 15 isolation plays in Game 1 and 13 in Game 2, both of which are more than he ever had defended in the regular season or postseason, according to Haynes.
“It’s obviously one of our things we like to do,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said after Game 2 of targeting Curry.
The Rockets’ goal is to isolate using James Harden and Chris Paul, two talented one-on-one players, to force a breakdown in the Warriors’ defense, then hit the open man.
Curry is a better and peskier defender than he often gets credit for, but he remains the weakest link among the Warriors stars. He anticipated this game plan going into the series, telling reporters he hoped the Rockets went after him on …read more
Source:: Business Insider