Russell Westbrook Sparked The Return Of Petty Steph Curry

Moments after picking adult a technical for scuffling with Semaj Christon and Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry did what he does best: Effortlessly empty a backbreaking three. That was a stage of a night in what was another blowout between a Thunder and Warriors. Right after a shoving compare incited feign brawl—one in that Curry seemed quite perturbed—he leaked out after a burst ball, swished a low 3 as a time lapsed and ran off a justice in glee.

The lapse of an intensely sparse Steph Curry was a acquire steer in a diversion done sparkling by off-the-court play though rendered purposeless by Golden State’s strenuous talent. Curry had copiousness of reasons to be encouraged for Monday’s lean opposite Oklahoma City—avenging his harmed teammate Kevin Durant, removing shadowy by Russell Westbrook (“Who is he?”)—and he delivered a form of opening we were used to saying during his back-to-back MVP runs.

Curry’s existed in a uncanny place in a NBA hierarchy this season. He’s substantially still one of a tip 3 players in a game, though he’s not a best actor on his possess team. Curry is a reigning unanimous MVP…but he’s not a tip MVP claimant on his possess team. It’s even probable Curry misses out on All-NBA if Westbrook and James Harden are comparison forward of him.

Monday night’s throttling of a Thunder was a infrequent sign of who Curry is during his best: A sneakily unpleasant gunner whose unequivocally small existence on a justice turns defenses into pretzels. Curry’s mislaid some of a gleam from his MVP campaigns this year, interjection in partial to struggles on pull-up threes, Durant’s addition, and a new cold strain in Durant’s absence. Against OKC, Curry fast inhabited his sharpened demigod persona, rising 9 shots in a initial quarter, pouring in 11 points and winning his matchup with Westbrook with cold, tough efficiency. With all a plaudits Westbrook has warranted this season—all 3 TNT commentators pronounced they would take Russ over Steph during a broadcast—Curry has somehow flown underneath a radar.

There’s a certain opinion about Curry’s diversion that creates him distilled to watch (and creates it some-more irritating when a Warriors act supportive between games.) His pull-up threes during a finish of a second and third buliding vs. OKC are some-more than usually a showcase of his honeyed stroke, they are a blatant taunt of a opponent. Much like his ridiculous game-winner opposite a Thunder final season, there were moments on Monday night were Curry simply overlooked what a rest of us have been taught about basketball, picked a mark on a building where he wanted to fire a three, and emptied that shot notwithstanding a best efforts of a Thunder defense.

Curry wasn’t even a high scorer for a Warriors on Monday, a harmful sign of their resources of talent. Klay Thompson scored 34, though it was Curry who owned this game, outplaying his MVP-hyped reflection and putting a Thunder on their heels from a opening tip. While Durant is a Warriors’ best player, when Curry is attack threes from anywhere he pleases, he not usually becomes unfit to guard, he fast deflates defenses until their will is broken. (Oh, and for all a speak of Steph’s “struggles,” he’s adult to 269 threes this year.)

I wrote streamer into this game that we would adore to see a Warriors indeed welcome their standing as villains. Steph lived adult to a partial Monday night, toying with a Thunder, who aren’t versed to hoop even a Durant-less chronicle of a Dubs. If there’s one china backing of a Durant injury, it’s Curry entirely re-emerging as someone who can fire your group out of a diversion in a two-minute widen while hardly channel halfcourt.

There aren’t unequivocally any conclusions to be drawn from Thunder-Warriors, a adversary in passion only. But if Monday night’s petty, somewhat pissed chronicle of Steph Curry is here to stay (even when Durant comes back), I’m blissful that matchup has finally given us something.