INDIANAPOLIS – Steph Curry grinned. Will there be a sense of relief when this is all over?
“Damn it, yes,” he said. Before he could spit out the rest of his answer, he laughed. “Because I got the tape.”
Curry’s pursuit of the 3-point NBA record lasted longer than many expected. After he went into a frenzy last week with speculation that he could achieve this by scoring 16, then 10, then seven in a game, Curry and his coach Steve Kerr now readily admit it’s time to get started. What’s better than a basketball mecca, Madison Square Garden?
“Now that you’re knocking on the doorstep, it’s pretty surreal,” Curry said. “But I’m just trying to let it happen. In those last three games, I learned one thing: keep playing basketball, keep shooting the shots that you think you’ll do, and enjoy it because it’s still a long way. ”
Curry needs two threes to beat Ray Allen’s record of 2974. In a career strewn with achievement and awards, the distance career record surpasses all others. Curry said he thought about it “for a very long time.”
Within reach for game three – let’s be honest about the 16 he would have taken last week against Portland – the pursuit record may be starting to weigh on Curry, Kerr suggested after Monday’s Indiana win.
After that game in Portland, when both Kerr and Curry, with varying degrees of severity, bolstered the 16 3s opportunity to set the record at home, the usually effective volume shooter has lost some of its trademark outside efficiency.
He has made 46 3-pointers in his last three games and only made 14 of them, representing a 30.4% success rate, well below his 43.1% career average. (At 40.1% per season, Curry also has the worst shooting percentage from outside of his career.)
“I think it will be a relief for him and for our team when he breaks down,” Kerr said. “I just think he tried too hard.”
Draymond Greene agreed that Curry’s second three-pointer on Tuesday night – or whenever it happens in an unlikely scenario, not against the Knicks – will be a welcome sight. However, he does not believe that he or his teammates are forcing Curry’s ball.
“I think he’s probably thinking about every shot he takes,” Green said. “Especially 3s. … I’ll be damn happy when it’s over and he gets it. Ultimately I think he will break the record by 1000 + 3 shillings.
It would be easier to list games in which Curry failed to score two 3s (142) than the other way around (646).
As Curry’s concealer on many of his first 2,973 triplets, Greene said he would rather get an assist than a screen tweak, leading to a record 2,975.
“It could be (pass to dribble), it could be a pass, it could just be Steph crossing half the court and dipping the ball away from the logo,” Green said. “We’ll see. I need a pass.”
The venue, Madison Square Garden, also has a history for Curry. This was Curry’s meeting place on February 27, 2013, when he hit 11 three-pointers in 13 tries and hit 54 points – he has won only twice since.
Upon learning that Reggie Miller, former three-point king and Curry idol in addition to his current role as Turner Sports analyst of color, would be streaming the game on Tuesday night, Curry turned to Warriors PR man Raymond Ridder and asked: A challenge? Are you planning this? ”
Obediently answering questions about the upcoming LP again, Curry got up from behind the microphone and walked over to the popcorn machine in the back of the room, where he grabbed a couple of bags of his favorite post-match snack.
“I’m just enjoying the moment,” he said. “You won’t get it again, chase to get to the top of the mountain. After that, it will only be about how far I can go. ”