Stephen Curry is perhaps the most difficult player in the NBA to defend against, and not just because of his three-point shots, which he sometimes takes from almost mid-court.
He knows that he attracts more than one player to defend against him and he takes advantage of it like few others, pulling them away from the danger zone and creating valuable space for his teammates, who often benefit from the over-marking to which his opponents subject him.
Two players who have suffered in direct confrontations with him explained how difficult it is to try to diminish the production of a player like the Warriors star.
CJ McCollum, who was traded from the Blazers to the Pelicans in February, faced Curry many times when he played in Portland.
“He’s not a player that one person can defend,” McCollum told NBC Sports’ Jarrod Castillo.
“The game plan against him is always to minimize his open threat, because you have to assume Stephen Curry is unstoppable. It’s very hard to defend him.”
Throwing multiple players at him
“You have to throw different players at him, this is not a guy you can score on with one player,” the Pelicans’ point guard repeated before defining his greatness more than eloquently.
“He’s a galaxy, he’s a planet, he’s a solar system. Everything revolves around him.”
Other players who have faced him many times agree with McCollum‘s words, such as Marcus Smart, the Celtics’ defensive player of the year.
“We all know what he can shoot from 20 feet, from 30 feet, even from 40 feet. The guy is special in that sense,” Smart said after coming up against Curry.
“But also in the way he can influence the game, being able to run and play off the ball and get open.
“It’s difficult for a defender because you can’t take a break.
“The moment you think he’s not doing anything, the play ends up with him and that’s when you get beaten, that’s when you get burnt.
“That’s when that mentality comes in that you have to be ready, you can’t give up. You have to keep going.”
There are so many variations of his game that it’s virtually impossible to nullify or at least minimise them all.
“He can influence the game on every level: passing, playmaking, throwing, scoring,” Smart continued.
“You have to be able to protect every last resource he has, and not many players can do that.”