Warriors vs. Celtics: Steph Curry’s minutes must increase in Game 2 with Golden State desperate to even Finals

The Golden State Warriors should win Recreation 2. No staff in Finals historical past has misplaced the primary two video games at residence and are available again to win the collection. It is time for the break-glass-in-case-of-emergency strategy. 

Our Sam Quinn provided three tactical/lineup changes Golden State could make in Recreation 2, however he did not embrace the obvious one: Play Stephen Curry extra. Curry solely performed 38 minutes in Recreation 1. Steve Kerr is notoriously cautious with Curry’s minutes, however I am unable to discover a justifiable cause for enjoying Curry fewer than 40 minutes in a Finals sport. 

Give Kerr the advantage of the doubt. It was solely Recreation 1. All of us suppose that is going to be a protracted collection and Curry’s burden on each ends is excessive. However this Celtics protection is simply too good and the Warriors merely do not have sufficient offensive creation with out Curry, notably when Jordan Poole’s minutes may very well be topic to discount transferring ahead if he would not choose up his protection and shot-making. 

There’s statistical help for Kerr’s resolution to relaxation Curry 5 minutes — one fewer minute than his regular relaxation — to begin the second quarter in Recreation 1. Over that stretch the Warriors truly elevated their lead from 4 to 6, and in idea, if they’ll merely break even within the non-Curry minutes it is a win. 

However each non-Curry minute is not a menace to interrupt the dam. He solely sat two and a half minutes to begin the fourth quarter, and in that point the Celtics minimize a 12-point result in 5, and when Curry returned he wasn’t in a position to re-flip the momentum. 

Curry is arguably essentially the most well-conditioned participant within the league. He is constructed his physique for these conditions. He is wholesome. After the Recreation 1 loss, Curry was requested if he’d like to remain on the court docket within the second quarter, notably when he has a sizzling hand as he did Thursday with a record-breaking six first-quarter 3-pointers, or if he’d reasonably follow the traditional rotations to maintain himself recent and belief others to search out their very own rhythm in his absence. 

“It is the latter,” Curry mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s additionally understanding how the collection develops. At most, we acquired six video games left. Make the required changes.”

Make the required changes. That is thinly veiled code for play me extra. There’s not a doubt on the earth that Curry needs to be on the court docket extra. He is proper that it is concerning the Warriors “understanding how the collection develops.” Had they received the opener, they’d have some leeway. However they did not, so they do not. 

This sport on Sunday evening is every thing. It is Recreation 7, for all intents and functions. Exit swinging together with your finest participant. My guess is Kerr will just do that. Curry will most likely solely sit 4 minutes to begin the second quarter, and if the sport is anyplace shut, Curry going the entire second half should not be off the desk. At most, a two-minute breather to begin the fourth. That might put Curry at 42 minutes for the sport. He is greater than able to that, plus extra if needed. That is what stars do. It is now or by no means. 

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