Let me start this by saying that Stephen Curry has been fine this postseason.
He's averaging 23.3 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field and 42.3% from beyond the arc. Those numbers attached to almost any other player would be exceeding expectations. He's also posting 6.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game, further proving the point that he's been alright.
But the standard that Curry has set for himself has people saying that he hasn't been great in the playoffs, and by those standards, you could make the case that he just hasn't quite seemed like himself.
Aside from Game 1 against the LA Clippers, where Curry erupted for 38 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists with eight made 3-pointers, we haven't seen him go full human torch.
In this Houston Rockets series especially, Curry has been off the mark.
He's averaging 19.0 points but he's shooting an uncharacteristic 39.3% from the field and 26.1% from long range. He's 6-for-23 on 3-balls over the past two games, showing a direct correlation to his lower-than-usual scoring average.
It hasn't hindered the Warriors in this series as they lead 2-0, but that's mostly in part to just how out of this world Kevin Durant has been playing.
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That's the direct benefit of playing on a team that is as loaded as Golden State - one of their superstars hasn't been on and they're still good enough to beat the Rockets two times to take a series lead.
So what has been the issue with Curry?
In Game 2 specifically, you could attribute his off shooting night to the fact that he dislocated his finger in the first quarter. He played through the injury but a dislocated finger, even on your off-shooting hand, will hinder your ability to approach the game the same way you usually do.
But there is a different underlying problem that doesn't directly relate to his shooting, but could be a reason for two quiet performances - foul trouble.
Curry has played through foul trouble in both games of this series. When you're working around foul trouble, it's tough to get into a rhythm because you're typically either playing timid or you're sitting on the bench to avoid fouling out of the game.
In Game 1, Curry picked up his third foul on the first possession of the second half. His fourth foul came later on in the third quarter, forcing him to go to the bench until the 10-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
He finished that game with five fouls, one shy of being disqualified from the contest.
Game 2 was a similar story. Curry had four fouls with seven minutes left in the third quarter and was forced to check out of the game. Again, he remained on the bench for the majority of the frame before subbing in for the final possession of the quarter to get a last-second shot off.
He finished that contest with five fouls, too.
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Head coach Steve Kerr has tried to drill it into Steph's head to stop fouling, but when it failed to work, he looked to the superstar's parents to try and get their son to listen.
"When we were in L.A. and he picked up his fourth foul, I asked him: 'Steph, where's your mom?'" Kerr said following the Warriors' Game 1 win over the Rockets.
"She was about 10 rows behind the bench. I looked up and made eye contact with Sonya and said: 'Tell him not to foul anymore.' If his mom can't get through to him, I'm definitely not going to be able to."
When that didn't work in Game 1, Kerr joked he'll try a different family member next time: "Maybe I'll try Dell this time, try his dad."
With how quiet Curry has been in this series, it's only a matter of time before he explodes. Leading 2-0 already with the way he's played, he has to feel that if he can get going, the Rockets will have no chance.
His foul trouble is something to monitor in Game 3 because if he can stay away from it and play freely, this might just be the night he gets the lid off the rim.
If that's the case, the Rockets will be in serious danger of letting this series get away from them, so it's best they continue to attack Curry when he's on D.
If not, they are more than aware of what Curry is capable of doing once he gets hot.
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