On countless occasions, Nicolas Batum has been on the wrong end of a Stephen Curry 3-point barrage. Despite his defensive chops, the versatile swingman is well aware that at times, no matter how closely he’s defended, Curry will simply uncork a circus-like shot from an impossible angle.
With Batum sticking to Curry as closely as possible, the former two-time league MVP shrugged the Frenchmen off and proceeded to torch LA. In four of his past six contests against them, Curry has scored at least 34 points, including a 45-point masterpiece in October of 2021.
With LA missing out on the postseason after losing back-to-back contests in the play-in round, Batum has watched the action from the sidelines. So far, Curry has been spectacular, averaging 26.8 points per game through 19 postseason contests. Nevertheless, with his Golden State Warriors punching their ticket to the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Curry has taken his game to another level.
Batum believes Boston is making a big mistake defensively
Although Golden State finds themselves facing a 2-1 deficit, Curry has been otherworldly, averaging 31.3 points per game on 49% shooting from behind the line. While guarding Curry is no easy task, Batum has been incredulous to some of the defensive coverages used to impede Curry’s offensive outbursts.
During Game 3, in particular, Batum was beside himself as Boston continually opted to drop down on pick and rolls that involved Curry, leaving him wide open from behind the arc. In addition to daring Curry to shoot as opposed to funneling him into the lane, Boston employed the same defensive strategy against Klay Thompson. As a result, both Curry and Thompson combined to go 11-24 from 3-point land.
Despite Batum feeling ambivalent towards Boston’s game plan, their befuddling strategy worked, as they cruised to a 16-point victory in Game 3. With Game 4 set to take place later tonight, if it were up to Batum, he would instruct Boston to press up on Golden State’s shooters and force them into the lane.