Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr saw Michael Jordan throw so many impossible shots over the years that he had to laugh when asked if the circus behind Stephen Curry’s head fired late in the first quarter of Tuesday’s 114-91 win at the San Antonio Spurs reminded him of what the Chicago Bulls legend used to do on a regular basis.
“That play was kind of a Jordanian,” Kerr said. “I saw [Jordan] do that move many times. Go to the hoop and get fouled and just move back. He didn’t always get it, but he liked doing that shot. That was an incredible example of body control and touch and feel. What an amazing shot. “
In a career filled with incredible plays, Curry’s spinning shot through three Spurs on the line was one of the most interesting in recent memory. With 2:01 remaining in the first quarter, he took a pass over the 3-point line from Draymond Green and dribbled to the rim past Spurs forward DeMar DeRozan and veteran Rudy Gay, who was coming down the right side for try to cut. out of curry. Once he got close to the rim, Curry jumped at Spurs guard Lonnie Walker, thought about throwing a pass to Warriors guard Kent Bazemore in the corner, but changed his mind once he heard the whistle.
Curry threw the ball over his head with his right hand. Spurs defenders were in awe trying to figure out how Curry had contorted his body in midair to finish such a play.
“It was fun,” Curry admitted after the game. “I don’t know the ranking, but it was up there for sure. I had to improvise. I really don’t even know how to explain it; I just had a good flow once I made contact and heard the whistle. Just put it on the glass as you can. All the Wild acrobatic shots that you practice or try, instincts take over, so that was cool. “
The play left teammates and coaches in awe, a reminder that Curry is playing at a different level at this point in his career.
“Man, I’d have to go back to the vault for that,” Green said with a smile when asked to rank the play among Curry’s greatest moments of all time. “That was fine. Take the foul and just flip it over. I don’t know if he did this. [claps arms together], but it came very close to a little jump from MJ. It was nice. So that was a good one, for sure. “
The move even seemed to surprise Curry himself, but he dismissed any comparison to Jordan and the high-flying stunts that MJ put on display during his career.
“There was nothing high-flying or over the edge about that,” Curry said. “So at least I’ll get on the [Steve Smith] Smitty’s list ‘under the brim’. I’ll take that acknowledgment. But yes, I changed hands; that’s the only comparison. “
Even when Curry tried to downplay his latest achievement, his teammates couldn’t believe what they just saw.
“If you’re looking at me from the bench, I say, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy! “Said Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson. I think he’s the best player in the world right now. Baze [Bazemore] He said it the other day: [Curry’s] just unreal. And the fact that I can see him up close, I can see everything he’s doing, it’s just … it’s great to see.
“I don’t take this for granted. I don’t think we’ll ever see someone, I don’t mean never, but for a long time, we won’t see someone like Steph Curry.”
Curry’s shot came on the last night of one of the most impressive road trips he’s had in recent memory. During the Warriors’ four-game swing through Dallas and San Antonio, Curry combined 149 points in four games and was 25-of-50 from beyond the arc. After a slow start to the season, Curry has taken up the challenge of leading an unmanned team back to the postseason, a challenge that became even more difficult in Texas because the Warriors were playing without the greats James Wiseman (wrist) and Kevon. Looney (ankle). ).
“I am fortunate to be healthy after last year,” Curry said. “And obviously the way the season started all the kind of talk, talk and all of that, I worked hard through the offseason with rehab, and I’m happy to play night after night … I feel strong, I feel in rhythm, I feel maximum control of my game. My shots are falling. And it all comes, not only with my own confidence, but with the growing confidence of our team, in terms of how we are trying to play. Win or lose, that Familiarity and that comfort come game after game, so that’s important. I definitely feel stronger than ever. I have a lot of energy, feeding off my guys and just trying to make plays. It’s a good vibe right now. “
Curry is playing so well that Kerr reiterated what he said last week: He believes the 32-year-old guard is playing the best basketball of his career.
“I think part of Steph’s brilliance is that she constantly amazes you to the point where you almost take it for granted,” Kerr said. “I think, and maybe it’s circumstantial given the injuries and the fact that he’s playing with a different group of guys, this is the best I’ve seen him from a confidence and strength standpoint. And that’s to say something obviously twice MVP, I don’t think I’ve seen it better. “
It’s a sentiment Green echoed, saying that he also believes his teammate is playing “the best basketball of his career.” After all the frustration on the part of the fanbase in recent days regarding whether Kerr and the Warriors would allow Curry to play a few more minutes after the original 34-minute mark the team had set him to average throughout the season. season, a win and Curry’s Incredible Game brought a welcome dose of happiness to a group that has struggled to find consistency throughout the year.
Kerr couldn’t help but smile once again when asked if he had contemplated keeping Curry and Green out of Tuesday’s game, after saying after Monday’s loss at San Antonio that he wouldn’t sacrifice Curry’s minutes just to “chase wins. ” this season.
“We considered it,” Kerr said. “But I had heard so much from our fanbase in the last few days, I just decided, ‘You know what? I really should put them back to keep everyone happy.’