Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts wasn’t in a mood to hear criticism about his team’s defensive strategy Tuesday night. After the Blazers’ 116-94 loss at the hands of the Warriors, in which Stephen Curry dropped 36 points and nine 3-pointers, Stotts was asked about Portland’s defense on Curry by Anthony Slater of The Athletic .
Slater: Houston had some success trapping Steph and really getting out on him. Is it sustainable to keep dropping the bigs so far off on him?
Stotts: “I can’t remember when he had 33 in the second half were they trapping then?”
Stotts: “They were? And he scored 33 in the second half?”
Stotts: “Okay. Yeah, we’ll look at that.”
The sarcasm from Stotts is interesting, considering Houston’s strategy was largely effective, holding Curry to 26 percent shooting from deep in the first five games. Curry went 9-of-15 in Game 1 vs. the Blazers, many of which were wide open. The Warriors targeted slow-footed Portland center Enes Kanter in the pick-and-roll, leading to numerous scenarios where Kanter was still in the key while Curry drilled easy looks.
Once again, Enes Kanter was literally in the paint when Steph Curry hit the 3 pic.twitter.com/DKbOcYvooR
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 15, 2019
While it would stand to reason that Stotts and the Blazers will try something different in Game 2, trapping Curry doesn’t seem to be at the top of the coach’s list.