Why the Los Angeles Lakers stop Stephen Curry at all costs:
Coach Vogel must channel one of the greatest defensive coaches ever, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots defense always focuses on taking away what the opposing team’s best player does best. Although the Patriots play football and the Lakers play basketball, the idea is pretty clear: Belichick would never let Stephen Curry shoot the ball.
It is much better to let the other Warriors players go 4 on 3 than it is for Curry to get any kind of rhythm shooting the ball. Giving up a 4 on 3 disadvantage might hurt the Lakers; giving Curry any kind of green light to shoot the ball will cost them the game.
For instance, the Toronto Raptors triple-teamed Curry in the 2019 NBA Finals as soon as Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant went down with an injury. It is no coincidence Curry had his worst performance this season against Toronto, only scoring 11 points on 2-16 shooting (1-10 from three-point range).
Notice current Lakers center Marc Gasol was one of those three guys defending Curry. Also, notice he was triple-teamed on the catch. Even when the Warriors set double screens for Curry, the Lakers should always send two guys to deny Curry the ball.
Toronto coach Nick Nurse thought like Belichick throughout the 2019 NBA Finals. Coach Nurse knew the only way the Warriors could win the 2019 NBA Finals (as soon as the Warriors lost Kevin Durant) was if either Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson shot the lights out. When Thompson tore his ACL in Game 6, they began to triple-team Curry.
At the end of the day, Toronto took away the strengths of the Warriors’ two best players in order to end the NBA’s most recent dynasty. Barring any kind of horrific shooting performance and/or if a Warriors player goes off unexpectedly, the Los Angeles Lakers should defeat the Golden State Warriors as long as they do the same to Stephen Curry.
Easier said than done. But then again, so is stopping LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers.