Stephen Curry isn't worried about his postseason offensive struggles Kevin Durant, Warriors ride second-half surge to Game 1 win over Rockets Warriors vs. Rockets: How Stephen Curry has become the elephant in the Western finals Kevin Durant's isolations are symptom, solution, problem for Warriors Blind USC long snapper Jake Olson drives a car for the first time

Stephen Curry isn't worried about his postseason offensive struggles

Warriors stars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant shrugged off Curry's shooting slump, with both men underscoring their confidence in Curry's play.

So, you can work on stuff between practices and games to get your rhythm, just seeing the ball going in and working on your mechanics, but [I'll] never lose confidence in myself. As far as shooting the ball, I said this way before you guys even said that he was the best shooter to ever play. He will be forced to sit for quite a while with 9:35 on the clock in the third period. This is the series the Rockets have wanted all season long.

Still, I would argue Curry's offensive troubles so far in these payoffs run a bit deeper than all these things. Golden State is just far more eager and capable. Tucker . The series is 1-1, after all. The Rockets’ gameplan didn’t change much from Game 1 to 2. It can be understandable. Again, it’s understandable when teams take projects in the lottery. Rather, it’s surprising that the Celtics have made it this far despite what they’ve lost.

All they really need to do, as head coach Steve Kerr, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and the rest know, is pass the ball. Durant will get his; Curry will, too, but only if he feels he needs it. Since Golden State signed Kevin Durant as a response to losing Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals at home, they’ve gone 25-4 in the postseason. Through two games, it’s abundantly clear that Durant can get just about any shot he wants on offense.

Kevin Durant, Warriors ride second-half surge to Game 1 win over Rockets

There is no doubt Durant is a more reliable, consistent option against any and all defenses for the sheer fact that he can get his shot under any circumstances. The goal changes once facing a set, halfcourt defense. This is mostly translating to the team level. But they’re aiming higher and surely aren’t content to keep playing this way. Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza and P.J. NBA teams are clearly looking for a home run pick with a lottery selection.

The Celtics have gone 10-4 in the playoffs, have beaten the Cavaliers by an average of 14 points a game in the Eastern Conference Finals, and are two wins away from the NBA Finals. Many anticipated that, prior to the 2016 draft, the Celtics were going to trade the third overall pick that they had received from Brooklyn for a superstar. The Rockets played them at their own game. Thompson sure isn’t here to put up eight points on 3-11 shooting, nor is Draymond going to fight himself into a suspension against a team he knows the Golden State can handle.

He scored 37 points in the series opener and added 38 points in Game 2, making 55.1 percent of his field goals and shooting six-of-13 from three-point range. Answering the big playoff questions Are we headed for a Warriors-Celtics NBA Finals? I think we all do." To beat the Rockets in a seven-game series, Curry says he knows he has to play to his potential. The stars are making an impact, but it is worth watching the bench units in the second half.

Here again, Curry shows hard on Harden but recovers back to Ariza. There is also no doubt that the Warriors are only truly the Warriors, the team that has collectively redefined offensive basketball ,  when Curry is heading the attack. The Rockets prefer to isolate with James Harden or Chris Paul . Golden State’s offensive rating with Durant on the floor (113.3) would have led the NBA in the regular season.

Warriors vs. Rockets: How Stephen Curry has become the elephant in the Western finals

Curry is used to being spotlighted, but not like this

They’re looking for a player who they can build a foundation around for years to come. But after the lottery, the rest of the draft gets a little murky. There is plenty of praise to go around on the team. The team had been coming off an exciting 48-win campaign and they were going to have cap space for two max players that summer. Read More:  Whose stock went up at the NBA Draft Combine? Next: Marcus Smart embodies the Celtics' grit Kerr knows this; Steph knows this.

Even with Harden and Chris Paul, Houston probably won’t have enough firepower to match the Warriors when their stars are playing well. What's up with Stephen Curry? Houston will continue attacking him on the defensive end and he'll be called upon to make big shots. The Warriors surged to a lead with their reserves. Stephen Curry is used to playing basketball inside a spotlight. Instead of letting him off the hook, Harden just runs the same action again, and this time gets the switch.

The Warriors want to move the ball and run more complex sets. So, what’s the downside? The Rockets are feeling good after routing the Warriors in Game 2 to tie the Western Conference finals at 1-1. Meanwhile, Golden State couldn’t buy a bucket; starting Warriors not named Kevin Durant scored just 35 points. However, recent years have seen the entire first round dominated almost entirely by freshmen and sophomores.

Kevin Durant's isolations are symptom, solution, problem for Warriors

With the offense breaking down more often against the Rockets, the Warriors have turned to Kevin Durant, and he has answered the call.

It takes every ounce of energy and wherewithal to win in the NBA, but the Warriors have proven they have both in embarrassing measures. It looked like the San Antonio Spurs might take Game 1 of last year’s conference finals until Kawhi Leonard got hurt and the Warriors squeaked out a two-point win. The Game 3 betting odds favor Golden State by seven points, according to OddsShark , and the Warriors could cover that line comfortably when they return home.

It's not a false sense of confidence. ET — A little bit of foul trouble for both sides. Fans can't take their eyes off him. Barbecued chicken: OK, so nobody can really guard Harden. They are not the same team a lot of people think they are. But Houston’s switching defense was built to shut down that very attack. There’s a ceiling on Durant dominating from mid-range. But they know they have a huge task ahead of them as they head to Oracle Arena, a place the Warriors have won an NBA-record tying 15 straight playoff games, for games 3 and 4 . (David J.

In 2017, a college senior wasn’t drafted until the San Antonio Spurs took Derrick White with the 29th pick. The NBA Draft isn’t an exact science. After skeptics pegged him as “Average Al,” Al Horford has indisputably been one of the best players in the playoffs. Celtics fans booed management, not because they disliked the pick, but because the Celtics didn’t package it for a superstar.

Blind USC long snapper Jake Olson drives a car for the first time

With Todd Bodine's help, blind USC long snapper Jake Olson gets behind the wheel at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Draymond Green and Trevor Ariza each have three personals and will sit the final five minutes of the half. Neither can defenders. But what about Paul, who Curry doesn't even really need to get switched onto as he's often guarding him to begin with? They have changed. The Rocket struggled to keep up in Game 1, but they settled in in Game 2 (made easier by scoring more efficiently and getting more chances to set their defense).

But a big challenge awaits Sunday at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have won an NBA-record tying 15 straight playoff games. So, going back to Oakland for Game 3, where do the Rockets find themselves? The Los Angeles Lakers followed that up with Josh Hart. College upperclassmen tend to be more physically developed and mentally mature for the NBA game. However, the main ingredient to the Celtics’ unexpected success in these playoffs has been the play of their highest draft picks in the last three years.

The odd Draymond Green tantrum aside, Golden State has a knack for battening down the hatches when it matters most. Load Comments Top Stories FanSided 17 hours Should Minnesota Timberwolves fans be worried about Karl-Anthony Towns? Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Houston has accomplished what each of Golden State’s first two playoff opponents were able to do. Speaking to promote the launch of his new book, World Peace told Omnisport: "The Warriors are a dynasty, and as a kid we love dynasties.

Rockets head into Game 3 confident after big win in Game 2

The Rockets have reason to feel good, tied with Golden State after winning Game 2 in a rout in the Western Conference finals.

Sometimes, it won’t (Houston’s offensive rating in Game 2: 122.3). That’s why they’ve won 15 in a row. Golden State did their job: they stole a game — and home-court advantage — from the Rockets at the Toyota Center. A few other upperclassmen, Frank Mason III, a senior, and Dillon Brooks, a junior, both had better rookie seasons than many of the freshmen taking before them as well. Dallas Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Michael Finley knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the draft process.

When Brown was drafted, many knew he was already a world-class athlete, but they also knew of his iffy jumper. After rolling it out again in Game 5, Golden State closed out that series easily. Bleacher Report 12 hours LeBron James, Cavaliers Destroy Celtics 116-86 for Critical Game 3 Win FanSided 1 day NBA trade rumors: Grizzlies willing to trade the No. The Spurs took Game 4 in San Antonio before being eliminated in Game 5 of the conference quarterfinals.

According to Second Spectrum, Curry defended 15 isolation plays in Game 1 and 13 in Game 2. Published on May. ET —  It appears James Harden is just fine. This is different. But a unit is only as strong as its weakest link, and when the Warriors play with their Death Lineup of Curry, Thompson, Andre Iguodala , Green and Durant, there is no question who that weak link is. But the defense is a massive hole for which there doesn't seem to be an adequate cover.

Durant has taken 49 shots this series while dishing only one assist. They bring a lot of energy to the game. Now, as the series shifts back to Oracle Arena and, assuming the Warriors return to form in front of their home crowd, Houston will have their work more than cut out for them. In 2016, Malcolm Brogdon, another college senior, was taken in the second-round with the 36th pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.

NBA Daily: Are the Houston Rockets in Trouble?

Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals may have been the perfect storm for Houston, writes Shane Rhodes.

What separates those three from the other four previously mentioned players is that those four have shown that they are capable of what they’ve been able to do in the past. When the Celtics won the lottery last year, many wondered what the backcourt would look like with Markelle Fultz and MVP candidate Isaiah Thomas running the show. That lineup boasts a nearly +20 advantage when it takes the floor at any given time.

The Pelicans blew out the Warriors in Game 3 at New Orleans before losing the next two games by a combined 35 points. A lot of kids, right now, want to be like the Warriors. Both were more than he had defended in the past four seasons, regular season and playoffs. The Rockets might be the No. ET — What a wild first quarter. Game 2 vs. It's Curry. He's getting killed out there.  In the Warriors' first title run in 2015, they were in real trouble against the Grizzlies , down 2-1 in the second round.

That’s not because his scoring is harmful, but because the Warriors turn to him so much only faced with other problems. Ariza had 19 points as one of five Rockets who scored more than 16 points to rebound after an ineffective performance in Game 1 because of foul trouble. The Warriors, aside from Curry, played great team defense in Game 2, something that will likely continue into Game 3. Senior Tyrone Wallace was taken with the last pick in the draft at No.

How do the Warriors adjust for Game 3?

After exchanging blows over the first two games, how can the Golden State Warriors use their tools to overpower the Houston Rockets in Game 3?

They want to be like Draymond. We've seen it before. Warriors are still the defending champs. Kevin Durant (13 points) and James Harden (12 points) are both on fire. Houston, to put it mildly, was ugly. Now, usually whatever defensive deficiencies (and again, usually they are not this dramatic) Curry presents, they are largely mitigated by his otherworldly offensive explosions. Curry was not playing well -- again, relatively speaking -- and there was a real sense that all these fireworks were, after all, just a big show.

Durant’s isolations can then create new issues. But they’re quick to point out that their success on offense was the product of solid defense. Harden and Paul didn’t exactly bring their A-game in Game 2 either — the two combined for a solid 43 points but took an inefficient 38 shots to get there. This isn’t to say that NBA teams should completely abandon taking young, underdeveloped players in the first-round.

It turned out he didn’t have one. Tatum proved this season that Ainge not only saw the better player, but he also saw the Celtics’ next superstar. In Game 2, Capela was just there  — five points and 10 rebounds doesn’t scream “Game-changing,” but his cognizant presence made for the runs that Chris Paul and James Harden were able to execute. Every Day. Tucker and Eric Gordon combined to go 11-15 from three-point range in Game 2.

KD on Curry's shooting: 'That's the last thing I worry about'

But again, these aren't happening either. Curry came out and proved that wasn't the case the rest of that series, and the rest is history. And he has answered the call. When the ball is sticking with Durant to such an extent, are his teammates still working as hard off the ball to generate even more efficient looks? We tried not to get too high or too low.” ___ More AP NBA: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

The Spurs took Dejounte Murray, a freshman point guard, over Brogdon, Wallace, VanVleet and Ferrell. It’s a good thing to change the system a little,” he says. “It will help keep the integrity of the game intact, especially toward the end of the year. Rozier barely played his rookie season, but when he got time, he looked very raw. When Kyrie went down, many wondered how exactly the Celtics were going to get consistent scoring throughout the playoffs.

Build your own custom daily newsletter with updates on your favorite teams, sent directly to your inbox. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to score 24 points on 30 field-goal attempts. I don't see Kevin Durant as being a part of that dynasty. And Steph has said himself that's the obvious thing to do, because the other four guys are all 6-7, 6-8, long arms. ET — This could end up being the dagger.

Draymond Green's mom blasts Kevin Durant for Warriors loss

Faced with a do-or-die scenario, Harden, Paul and co. were the more aggressive team from the jump. That’s worked out well for them. That’s next year, though. The following year, Rozier showed some promising albeit inconsistent flashes of brilliance. Tatum’s skills stood out against the 76ers, as he not only averaged 23.6 points a game on 52 percent shooting, but he made quality defenders like Ben Simmons and Robert Covington look like matadors.

Your privacy is safe with us. The numbers for all four players could look very different in Game 3. I say Kevin has to win this year or next year and then another one. So we're used to that. ET —  With James Harden and Kevin Durant off the floor, the Rockets and Warriors play even, which is not good for Houston. James Harden is forced to leave the floor after going down with an apparent injury. And when they do, they're roasting him.

But now it's the Rockets in that position, the offensive juggernaut ready to prove they're more than a regular-season show. He’s making 58% of his 2-pointers (21-of-36), 46% of his 3-pointers (6-of-13) and 100% of his free throws (15-of-15) in the series. Are his teammates defending as hard when they’re not involved offensively? This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets Game 3: Prediction, Betting Odds For 2018 NBA Playoffs

The Golden State Warriors face the Houston Rockets in Game 3 at home, where they haven't lost in the postseason.

Excepting Durant, a sleepy Warriors team made all of this possible. We’ll never pass along your email address to spammers, scammers, or the like. That especially goes for Curry, who had a particularly rough shooting night. If they win three in a row, that'd be amazing. Steph's used to that. ET — Another third-quarter surge gives the Warriors an advantage. ET — Fear the Beard. So far in these playoffs, Curry has given up 30 points as the primary defender in 24 isolation possessions, per Synergy, which puts him in the 12th percentile among all playoff players.

CBS Interactive. His combination of usage percentage (37%) and true shooting percentage (67%) is off the charts. In a sport with real humans who get fatigued and have emotions, there are downsides to funneling the offense through Durant – even if he directly scores efficiently. The story must be told. Still, the Warriors are virtually unbeatable at home. There appears to be a stigma of sorts when it comes to upperclassmen, particularly college seniors.

At the beginning of the year, Rozier had taken another reasonable step forward, but he still struggled with inconsistency. Perhaps, maybe, possibly we would get the West Finals we all deemed ourselves worthy of accepting? Gordon had 15 points on 6-13 shooting in Game 1, which are jaywalking pedestrian numbers for a Sixth Man of the Year winner and possible repeat-candidate. Golden State Warriors vs.

World Peace: Durant not part of Warriors dynasty

Kevin Durant is simply unguardable at the moment with 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting. James Harden is feeling it with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting. Not good.  It is not for lack of effort, which you have to respect. As mentioned, the Rockets' ability to switch on him with multiple long, athletic, physical defenders is certainly a factor.  Curry is not a perfect offensive player. CBS Sports is a registered trademark of CBS Broadcasting Inc.

The Rockets have spent all season adjusting to those issues. Your subscription supports journalism that matters. The team has lost three games this postseason, just four times over their last two playoff trips and not once at Oracle, making the Rockets’ task even more daunting than it already was. If a guy can play, he can play. Most agree that Luka Doncic and DeAndre Ayton are the prizes of the draft, but there are other guys available with All-Star potential.

Except, here’s the thing: What happened to James Harden in Game 1 was essentially what happened to Kevin Durant in Game 2 . Good thing seven-time NBA All-Star Joe Johnson is there to, err, log four total minutes in this series thus far. They got 41 points from NBA MVP favorite James Harden in a Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors and scored 127 points in a dominant Game 2 victory at home. Golden State was careful not to rush Curry back too soon.

That doesn't change my outlook on the series and what I need to do. ET — The Warriors are running away with the third (like they usually do). ET —  James Harden scores six quick points to start the game, and Draymond Green just got hit with a technical foul less than two minutes into the first quarter. Curry plays his butt off. Strong defenders can stay in front of him, and when he's not in one of those modes where just about everything he throws up goes in no matter how tightly he's being guarded, you can contain him.

Rockets' defense limits long-range looks for Warriors' Stephen Curry

He has cooked James Harden, Clint Capela , Chris Paul and Eric Gordon . Golden State isolating so much threatens its identity. After they dropped the first game of the series, Houston evened things up at one apiece Wednesday night with a 127-105 blowout win over Golden State. Your email address will not be published. With the 2018 NBA draft about one month away, there are a few interesting names to look at when it comes to college seniors.

After Terry took Kyrie’s spot in the starting lineup, his numbers skyrocketed. Both carefully nurtured their ways around defenses, mostly in isolation, to explosive point totals, resulting in losses. With the Warriors, the question is dual: What is Curry’s health, and what are the rest of them trying to do about it? Giving themselves hope with a split at Toyota Center, Houston faces a new challenge Sunday night.

Amazing - probably going to get there again, unless the Lakers can have something to say about it, which we will! If I don't shoot the ball [well], I'm going to, but if I don't shoot the ball well in Game 3, it won't change a thing about how I approach the next one. ET —  That's five fouls on Trevor Ariza. ET —  Houston's crowd is ready to roll. Just look at this clip below. Even bully him. Both teams want to score in transition and semi-transition.

It’s working alright for the Warriors so far. But was their improved demonstration a fluke? Each year when the NBA draft comes around, there seems to be an aversion to taking upperclassman with a top selection. Sure, none of those guys are going to turn into a superstar or even an All-Star. It’s a strong draft, and a lot of the draft is going to go with what player fits what team in a particular system.

What the Warriors need to do was evident in Game 1, and became even more evident in Game 2. All the Warriors need to do, all they ever need to do in this era, is pass the ball . The Rockets will head on the road for Game 3 against the defending champs, looking to do what no team has been able to do in the last year: beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena in the playoffs. If Curry and Durant both play well, that might be too much for Houston to survive.