Stephen Curry wants the pressure of Game 7 on his shoulders
Oakland, Calif. — Stephen Curry doesn't know why the Warriors haven't looked like themselves in the last two games of the NBA Finals.
Yes, the tape has shown some defensive adjustments he says the Warriors need to make. And sure, there are some things on offense they've failed to exploit, and Curry is adamant that he needs to stay out of foul trouble. But those things don't explain to Curry why the Warriors haven't looked like the team that won 73 regular-season games in their Game 5 and 6 losses.
"This is a long, hard grind journey to win a championship, and anything is liable to happen," Curry said. "The only thing that matters is that we have one game left to figure it out."
If they figure it out, they're champions. If they fail, they complete the biggest collapse in NBA Finals history and turn the best regular season in NBA history into a strange trivia question.
Curry can't win the game singlehandedly, but he was clear Saturday: He wants the pressure, he wants that immense responsibility.
"I need to take it up another notch for Game 7. That's what the greats do," Curry said. "I need to play my best game of the year, if not my career, because of what the stakes are."
Scrutinizing the play of the NBA's unanimous MVP has been excellent fodder during these Finals, because no matter what kind of stats Curry has put up, he has only shown glimpses — mere flashes — of the greatness he displayed before he injured his right knee in the Warriors' first-round series against the Rockets.
Curry said Saturday that he's played up to his standards in four of the six games of the Finals, and that the box scores don't tell the full story.
"That doesn't mean scoring 50 points," Curry said of the impact he'll need to have in Game 7. "[It] means controlling the tempo of the game. When I need to be aggressive — well, I need to be aggressive, but when I push the envelope, do it, but do it under control."
Curry has been sterling in the two Game 7s he's played in his career, averaging 34.5 points on 48 percent shooting overall and 10-of-19 shooting from beyond the arc with a 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.