How's Curry really doing?  The 3 things that will decide Celtics-Warriors race-4

The Finals resume on the Italian night at the TD Garden, with Boston leading 2-1 and doubts about the conditions of the two-time mvp

by our correspondent Davide Chinellato


How is Steph Curry really doing? “I know I’ll play in game-4, let’s see the rest,” said the two-time Warriors mvp, trying to dispel doubts about the condition of his injured left foot in the third game. How is Steph is the main question in view of tonight’s match, with the Finals in the fiery TD Garden restart with the Celtics ahead 2-1 and the blow-ups of the Boston owners welcoming the commuters at North Station, the station is under the parquet of greens, which promise another magical evening. Golden State permitting, of course. Here are the 3 things that will decide the fourth challenge of these Finals. Whatever happens, on Monday in San Francisco there is race-5.

Steph Curry

How is he really?

“At this point in the series, if you are able to play you just play. But it’s a question of pain tolerance ”. Not even Curry knows for sure how he is, after the left foot injury in Game-3 that made Golden State tremble. The dynamic was very similar to that injury against Boston that cost Steph the last 12 regular season games. “It is not as serious as the other – he tried to clarify -. The play was pretty much the same, but here when I tried to walk after getting up, when I tried to run, I realized it wasn’t that bad because I could do it, while the other time I couldn’t. He gave me confidence: I will have to take advantage of the rest hours before the game to recover as much as possible. I know I’ll play, but I don’t know how the foot will respond and how it will affect my game ”.

I know I will play, I don’t know how my foot will respond and how it will affect my game

Steph Curry

The problem for Golden State is huge, because Steph has been by far the best player of the Warriors so far, well beyond the 31.3 points average that makes him the best scorer of the Finals, seasoned by 48.6% of three. The Bay team in the series against Boston proved that there is no alternative to Steph: he is not Jordan Poole, with 12 points per average well away from the aspiring star who in the first round against Denver had allowed Curry to recover calmly from the first injury, it is not even Klay Thompson, who returned to himself in Game-3 after the first two complicated matches but still too fluctuating to be able to rely on. To go home at 2-2, Golden State needs Curry to be Curry: coach Kerr was ready to ask him for more in terms of playing time (36 ‘on average so far), he will probably have to manage it. Without having a credible alternative.

The response of the Warriors

It is mandatory to change gear

However Curry is, Golden State has to think about how to react after the slaps in Game-3. The Warriors were irresistible only in the third quarter (a constant in this series), but in the other three periods they were overwhelmed by the Celtics. “I played m …” said Draymond Green, among the worst in Game-3. It first takes his emotional reaction to Golden State to recover. If Curry is the offensive pivot of Kerr’s team, Green is the defensive leader and soul of the team. And in defense, Golden State failed in the victory in Boston, allowing opponents to dominate the area (52-26 Celtics) and always shoot with at least 50% from the field except in the third quarter. Defense is the key to the series: Golden State must return to defending as in Game-3.

The strength of Boston

You win with the group

The Celtics won Game-3 with the group. Tatum, Brown and Smart were the first teammates since 1984 to all put at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the same Finals game. The three of them plus Al Horford are the first quartet to close with 10-5-5 in a series race for the title by Celtics legends Bill Russell, Sam Jones, KC Jones and John Havlicek in 1966.

Robert Williams III, who is far from being 100%, has given an important hand in defense. Like Derrick White. In short, the Celtics in the series are confirming to be more of a team, to be able to better use all the weapons available to coach Udoka. One of the keys to the defeat in race-2 was the group: Smart, Horford and Williams produced 2 points each, leaving Brown and Tatum alone. To win race-4 it doesn’t have to happen. The more games pass, the more Boston is convinced of its own means. And it shows that this team, which seemed mired in an anonymous season in January, has what it takes to take that 18 title the Celtics have been waiting for for 14 years. “It’s all about 18” says an inscription stamped on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the TD Garden. Only the number 18 counts. Even the players know that.

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