When it comes to trying to defend Steph Curry, it won’t fall on one Cleveland Cavalier to do so in the NBA Finals, which being Thursday night at Oracle Arena, according to Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.
The difference from the last three Finals matchups for Cleveland will be veteran George Hill being tasked with being the initial defender on Curry, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
However, Lue said Hill, a 32-year-old veteran of the NBA’s playoff wars who will make his first appearance in a Finals on Thursday night, won’t be flying solo attempting to slow Curry down.
“Multiple guys are gonna be thrown at Steph,” Lue said. “He’s a tough player. He’s gonna take a lot of shots. He’s gonna make some tough shots, so we understand that.”
To combat Curry’s vast arsenal of offensive skills, Lue said the Cavaliers must do whatever they can to take away his open looks.
“We want to be physical,” he said. “Stay on his body. Just being alert and taking away those easy baskets like… losing him in transition or we turn our head, he moves and gets a three wide open or an offensive rebound, he moves and we don’t lock into him. Those are the ones we want to take away.”
Stopping Curry is out of the question, the Lue realizes. Containing him, however is the goal.
“We know he’s gonna score because he’s gonna get a lot of shots and he’s gonna make some tough shots,” Lue said. “We just gotta make sure we take away the easy ones.”
In the Warriors’ win over the Cavaliers in five games last season in the Finals, Curry averaged 26.8 points, shooting 44 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.