Nick Wright on Steph Curry’s return in Warriors’ win over Pelicans: ‘He was the difference in the game’

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In his conversation with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe, Nick Wright breaks down Steph Curry's return in the Warriors' 121-116 game two win over the New Orleans Pelicans in round two, detailing why the 2-time MVP will be the difference maker throughout Golden State's 2018 playoff run.

NICK WRIGHT: Steph Curry was Steph Curry impressive-- A locked-in, dialed-in Steph Curry, which is one of the five most terrifying offensive forces in the history of this great game. Steph Curry, when he is firing on all cylinders-- I'm not sure, exactly, what you're supposed to do with him.

And this is one of the reasons why, a couple years ago, when he came back from the injury and scored the 40, and, then, struggled a bit in the finals, I got so angry at him. People were like, oh, Steph wasn't at full strength. I don't know what full strength is for Steph Curry.

Here's what I do know. When he plays, no matter how long the layoff is, no matter what injuries come back from, whether it's an MCL or an ankle, whatever it is. When he's out there, he's petrifying.

He was the difference in the game, last night. He was-- we can show you the numbers, in a little bit, later on in the segment. But, like, him on and off the court was the difference in the game.

The way the Pelicans were on a bit of a run-- you know how, CC, the Warriors stopped the run? They didn't call a timeout. They subbed Steph Curry into the game, for the first time. And the Warriors, instantly, went on a 5-0 run, and the crowd got into it. He was spectacular.

CRIS CARTER: Yeah, Steph had the benefit, too, because he's playing on such a great team, that he didn't-- they didn't have to force him in to start the game. And him coming off the bench, it allowed-- because that initial-- when you're trying to come back from an injury, you can force your body to try to do the things that you're not, necessarily, comfortable doing. And starting the game is not, necessarily, the best entry point, when you've been off for over a month.

So I thought that they did-- Steve Kerr did a tremendous job of letting the game find its flow. He didn't put Steph in to stop the run. He had a time that he was going to put him in there, because that was the plan. So, to see Steph play the number of minutes that he did play-- you know he's going to be able to shoot. He's the greatest shooter that's ever played in the NBA.

JENNA WOLFE: Right

CRIS CARTER: So you know that's going to be there. But his overall play-making-- you could see that and what it adds to this team. And, when they play together, their ability to be able to pass the basketball and make shots-- the sets that they run are tremendous. I mean, even late in the game, where this game is tight, they have out-of-bounds play.

They post up Kevin Durant. They throw it in to him. Draymond and Steph do a scissors.

And they pass to Steph. He knocks down-- it's like, man, I haven't seen them run that play, in a long time. So what they can do, and what Steph adds to it-- he's a special, special player. And that's why they have the championships that they have.

NICK WRIGHT: And I'm glad you mentioned Draymond, because I don't want to disregard him. He's playing his best basketball of the season, at the best time of the season. He had a triple--

CRIS CARTER: Well, he has two games. And the first round wasn't a great ground for him.

NICK WRIGHT: No, I--

CRIS CARTER: These two games.

NICK WRIGHT: That's exactly what I'm talking about. He had a triple-double in the first game of this series. He was a rebound away from triple-double, last night.

Anthony Davis-- he totally neutralized Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis was four for 13 from the field, when Draymond was guarding him. So Draymond was great.

But I want to show the audience what the Warriors offense was, with and without Steph. Steph only played 28 minutes, so 20 minutes without him, 28 minutes with him. Their offensive rating was 130, when he's on the court.

The NBA record, all-time, for a season, is 116. Without him, it was 72. The Suns, this year-- the worst offense in basketball-- were about 98.

JENNA WOLFE: Huh.

NICK WRIGHT: So they're-- they're way above the all-time record, with him on the court, way below the worst team in the league, with him off the court. Shoot 43% from three, versus 17% from three-- by the way, it's not-- they shot 17 threes, without him on the court. They just couldn't make them. They were two different teams, last night-- with and without him.