How the Raptors can limit Steph Curry
On the latest episode of "Strictly Hoops", C.J. Miles and Amit Mann discuss how the Raptors can slow down Steph Curry ahead of their matchup on Friday night. Full episode is on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: Steph Curry. He is the next-- he is the next game for the Toronto Raptors and you've played against him. We obviously know his shooting pedigree. How great he is. This is a loaded question, but how do you slow down Steph Curry? I'm saying slow down because I don't-- you're not ever going to do what they were able to do to Domantas Sabonis but you can slow him down. So how do you do that?
C.J. MILES: I think the major things first, that pop up-- the first thing is fresh bodies. You've got to switch-- you've got to be able to keep fresh bodies on him because he could arguably be the best conditioned athlete of all time, or NBA player of all time. I won't step outside of our sport because I don't know those guys personally. I haven't seen it firsthand.
But this guy that I'm talking about here, just-- and I love the JJ Redick quote that I always come back to it. He has the gravity of the sun, right, like he talks about how he makes everything shift. So if you can find a way to be disciplined enough with not overreacting to every action he's in, which I'm not saying it's easy to do, but I think the best way you do that is keeping fresh bodies on him. Because you have guys less fatigued, less mistakes. Most mistakes happen when you start to fatigue.
So the more fresh bodies you can keep on him, the clearer minds. The more guys just playing with energy. And that's gonna-- the way they play, the guys he's playing with experienced, they're that good. He's going to get his shots and his range extends to at halfcourt. So like, there's-- he's going to take four of those. And it's going to be like what do you want me to do about those. He makes three of those, it's like you tip your hat kind of thing.
But it's hard. You gotta mix it up you. You double some pick and rolls, some you don't because he can pass the ball and it's not even by him passing the ball. He's more dangerous once he passes it. So you double the pick and roll, he throws it out and before the ball is caught, he's already in another sprint.
AMIT MANN: Yeah.
C.J. MILES: So now you have two people committed to him who can't react fast enough because they're high hands trying to deflect the pass, if they leave the floor then it's done. I think that's one of the things. I had a coach that always said when he passes, don't leave the floor.
AMIT MANN: Yeah
C.J. MILES: Because when you leave the floor when he passes, he takes off. And now we're in a full out frenzy right? Like because everybody sees them changing sides, the big jumps out early to make sure he doesn't catch it, then that's when they get the slip dunks and layups. It's all-- his action is just non-stop.
AMIT MANN: Box-- the box and one that they put on them a few years ago obviously just became famous but it made sense and especially with this Raptors team that is so versatile. You don't necessarily care who is guarding Steph, you just want someone guarding him. So I would imagine we're probably going to see more zone, maybe a box and one, but just like zones in general because Steph that way, he can do all the movement he wants but wherever the action is happening, we have someone--
C.J. MILES: Somebody's already there.
AMIT MANN: Yeah, and we're OK with that person going one on one and just hoping for the best.
C.J. MILES: And you just try to-- and with the box and one you can allow that guy to limit some of his touches on the perimeter. Because I'm not really as worried about Steph catching a backdoor cut pass, running towards Pascal, OG, Scottie and Precious, as I am with the havoc he wreaks just by in his actions with Draymond and passing and cutting and screening and pick and rolls.
So I would rather take that. And if somebody else goes off then we adjust as the game goes. But I think we start off by-- he just feeds so much energy into that energy-- that, no, it's gasoline into that engine from his movement and then you have to be shooting the ball.
AMIT MANN: And you mentioned Draymond Green. That's the other part of this. He is one of the best moving screeners the NBA's ever seen. Just the way that-- even the Warriors in general. Like who was it a few weeks ago that said that every screen that is set for Steph is a moving screen. It was some player, I can't remember who it was. He's like, so I don't know how he gets away with it but it makes it impossible to guard.
C.J. MILES: It used to be worse too, that's what seems crazy. It used to be worse like-- and there were bigger guys like Andrew Bogut was out there and with Draymond. And David West was over there at one point. Like, I played with D. West, I know all his screens and screens because i was using them.
So like, I know what type of screens he's setting to get people open. I remember him just saying it to me, he's like look just come on my side, I'm going to get you open. He's used to say it to me and it never failed. Yeah I was open every single time.
But I think, the thing with Draymond though? The worst thing that people do is they don't guard him like they allow him to-- you know he's not looking to shoot the ball.
AMIT MANN: I can't believe people double actions on Steph and he just does that little slip pass and now he's got like all kinds of room at the free throw line. He's going to do like, maybe you want to challenge him to make a shot, OK. But you also have like other-- you have Jordan Poole, you have Klay Thompson, they're also moving. So something good is going to happen out of it Yeah.
C.J. MILES: I can't let him just stand up there and see everything that's going on. If Scottie is on him, I'm telling Scottie when he catches the ball, pressure him. Make him make a decision, make him have to turn his shoulder to you, turn his back to you. Make him have to make these plays under duress, right? Distress, right? You want to make him have to do something.
Don't allow him to just sit there and let-- watch things develop. It's like you can't go a whole game without putting pressure on a quarterback.
AMIT MANN: Yeah
C.J. MILES: But you can't, a good one at that. Especially one with the--
AMIT MANN: Even if they've seen everything, you've got to make them feel you.
C.J. MILES: That's the one thing that I have to my advantage, right, is I can make them feel me and I can make them speed-- maybe not, I don't want use these words, speed them up but just make them have to do things differently.
AMIT MANN: Yeah.
C.J. MILES: Especially with the weapons that this guy's got at wide receivers out there. Like, you know what I mean? Like I can't let him just sit there. I can't give Tom Brady an all time wide receiving offense and just not blitz him ever. Can't do that.
Not saying that he's Tom Brady I'm just saying that's my football--
AMIT MANN: I hear what you're saying. Yeah, peak Tom Brady. This version might be retiring or go to Miami. Whatever.
C.J. MILES: I don't-- I don't also need to give Draymond any more gasoline than he has. I don't want to call him Tom Brady and somebody says--