Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson prove they still have a knockout, but how long can erratic throws last?

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson prove they still have a knockout, but how long can erratic throws last?

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined 59 points on 14 3-pointers in Golden State’s win over Memphis on Friday. Thompson took the day, making eight of his 14 3-shots and 11 of 22 shots in total. Curry went 4 of 17 on one point before hitting two triple daggers like the Warriors finally put the Grizzlies away.

But the numbers require context. Curry didn’t play well. He finished with 29 points, and it’s testament to his all-time threat level that he was sloppy with the ball and couldn’t take a shot for most of the night that he still ended up with 14 more for the game, and , in fact, he hit the shots when they really counted, but looking at Dallas or Phoenix in the conference finals, he’s going to have to be better.

The same goes for Thompson, who was great on Friday but has been pushing shots for some time. It took an 11-22 showing in Game 6 for Thompson to finish the series above 40 percent of the field. He’s not the defender he used to be, putting a lot more emphasis on his offensive contributions.

Curry, meanwhile, just can’t find his pitch, save for a few runs to save the box. He was 6-17 out of 3 on Friday and finished the Memphis series with 32% over-the-arc and 41% overall. This is by far the worst postseason pitch of his career, right after the worst regular season pitch of his career.

As I wrote earlier this week, Curry’s shooting difficulties have served to reinforce just how great a player he is. He still has five 30-point playoff games; only Giannis Antetokounmpo has more so far. He hit 29 on Friday. He’s such a winning player. Even when his kicks aren’t going in, he keeps attacking outside the dribble, keeps getting away from the ball, keeps chasing shots and creating advantages for everyone else. James Harden should take note.

But at some point, you’d think, those photos will have to start happening as the postseason progresses. It’s hard to imagine the Warriors beating the Suns, or even the Mavericks, with Thompson and Curry shooting so inconsistently, especially since they no longer have an elite defense to lean on.

It’s a blank slate now. The Warriors have survived two rounds, and the score is 0-0 against whoever they play next. Curry and Thompson can put those erratic paths behind them and get hot when the time is right, and if they do, the Warriors can beat anyone. But we have yet to see evidence that they can conjure up their old magic consistently.

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