By Craig Fields
Stephen Curry led his Golden State Warriors to a 2-2 series tie with the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Oh excuse me, MVP Stephen Curry led his Warriors to a must win against a very tough defensive minded Grizzlies team. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Curry is the NBA MVP and he put on a performance worthy of the award.
Curry scored 33-points, eight boards, five assists and two steals to go along with four turnovers. That’s a bit high in the turnovers category, but when he strokes the long ball like he did Monday night, I’m sure that Head Coach Steve Kerr can give him a pass.
Not only did his performance help the Warriors to tie the series, but it also proved that the Warriors know how to make adjustments and succeed against a staunch defense. Allow me to explain.
Curry didn’t take a shot until about the 3:30 mark of the first quarter but still finished the first half with 21 points. That says a lot because in previous games, in this series, Curry and his wing mate Klay Thompson were really forcing shots and not getting the results that they wanted.
Needless to say they fell down two games to one employing this strategy. Game 5, which is tonight should see Memphis Head Coach David Joerger make a few changes to his strategy in how he will decide to attack the dangerously offensive Warriors.
Speaking of outstanding performances, perennial MVP candidate LeBron James put on quite a show Tuesday night. He really took over the game, and in essence the series, by scoring 38 points, pulling down 12 boards, dishing out six assists, three rejections and three steals, all without turning the ball over once. The “King” had himself a helluva game to say the very least.
Of all the stats I just named, the most important one is the zero in the turnover column. That is the first time that he has not turned the ball over in the playoffs. Even James said, “I never pat myself on the back ever, but I will on that one.” Well done King. Well done.
With that win the Cavaliers are up 3-2 on the Chicago Bulls and will be looking to close out the series on Thursday in Chicago. The Bulls on the other hand will be looking and hoping to stay alive in this best of seven series.
Jimmy Butler, once again, had great a great game but ultimately could not do it alone. His starting backcourt partner, Derrick Rose, played well in the first quarter, but got hurt in the third when he reinjured a stinger that he suffered in Game 1 on his right arm.
Rose would end his night with 16-points on 7-24 shooting from the floor. That simply will not get it done in this series. Hopefully his medical staff can figure out what the problem is with his arm because without Rose, this team is as good as done.