In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it wasn’t Stephen Curry who led the Golden State Warriors to a 104-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On a night when Curry scored just 11 points on 4-15 shooting, backup guard Shaun Livingston carried the Warriors off the bench, scoring 20 points on 8-10 shooting.
The 6-foot-7 Livingston, who doesn’t possess Curry’s gifted shooting stroke, instead punished the smaller Cavs guards, prodding his way into the paint for midrange jumpers and floaters that couldn’t be blocked.
After the game, Curry spoke to reporters about guarding Livingston in practice and amusingly relayed how difficult the size advantage can be. Curry also noted that Draymond Green doesn’t make his job any easier.
“Sometimes there’s really nothing you can do about it,” Curry said of trying to stop Livingston. “You try to just contest his shot, but sometimes he won’t even see you.
“For me in practice it’s the loneliest feeling in the world because Draymond needs somebody to talk to and to talk trash to. And if he’s on the other team — sometimes even if he’s on my team, he’ll “mouse in the house” or whatever kind of phrase you want to talk about when [Livingston] gets in the post. And I’ll play the best defence of my life, and he’ll knock down a shot, and you’ve just got to live with the chatter. So it’s not fun.”
Evidently, Green’s trash talk never stops, even if he’s taunting his own practice-squad teammate.
The anecdote also illustrates what a weapon Livingston can be for the Warriors. Curry is 6-foot-3, and as Livingston noted, “sneaky.” Yet he stands no chance at blocking Livingston’s shot.
Kyrie Irving can relate.
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