LeBron James knows Splash Brothers could go off at any time
The Golden State Warriors find themselves up 2-1 in the NBA Finals over the Cleveland Cavaliers heading into Friday’s pivotal Game 4. But the fact the reigning champions have done so without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson being quite as lethal as expected certainly is a surprising development.
Despite the Splash Brothers’ somewhat slow start in the series, LeBron James insists he and his teammates are well aware of the fact that the dynamic duo could return to their usually dominant selves in an instant. And it is up to the Cavaliers not to make it easy on Curry and Thompson to do so.
“We just want to try to make it tough on those guys,” James said, via cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. “Those guys are very good players, great players. They’ve shown what they’re capable of doing in our league…
“Those guys are going to make shots. They’re going to make tough shots. They’re going to take tough shots. They’re great players. But at the end of the day, we just want to play our game.”
Both Curry and Thompson obviously haven’t been at the top of their games so far in the NBA Finals. Curry is averaging 16 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. His numbers call into question whether he’s fully recovered from an ankle injury suffered earlier in the postseason.
Thompson’s numbers are down as well, averaging only 12 points per game in the Finals on 37 percent shooting.
It warrants mentioning, though, that the ultimately lopsided outcomes of the series’ first two games meant neither Warriors superstar had to log big minutes, somewhat diminishing their respective stat lines, at least from a scoring standpoint.
But the Cavaliers’ dismantling of the Warriors in Game 3 arguably was more informative of the Splash Brothers’ struggles. Curry scored 19 points on 46 percent shooting, but he was uncharacteristically careless with the basketball, committing six turnovers.
Curry admitted he needs to contribute more.
“I have to play 100 times better,” Curry said, via NBA.com. “I didn’t play my game. I’m disappointed I didn’t help my team win.”
Thompson, meanwhile, suffered a thigh bruise late in the first quarter that may have hampered his effectiveness. In the 120-90 blowout loss, Thompson only scored 10 points and went only 1-for-7 from the three-point line.
But sooner or later, Curry and Thompson are bound to catch fire. It’s perhaps just a matter of when.
“They’re never too far away from the lead or never too far away from when they’re down to get back into the game,” James observed of the Warriors.
And of the Warriors find themselves down again in Game 4, it could all start with the Splash Brothers heating up.