Stephen Curry is fine.
The arc and follow through that make basketball aficionados drool is intact. The quick-release, uninhibited precision-shot, coveted by the Bay Area and beyond is just fine.
So what happened in Game 2 of the NBA Finals? A lot.
Most of the time, the Warriors were in a slow, half-court offense void of movement, forcing Curry to make bad decisions, but there were also other things that were un-Curry.
First, Curry didn’t come out aggressive. His first shot attempt came over halfway through the first quarter, giving him less time to get into the shooter’s rhythm.
And after that, hesitated shots, double fakes of uncertainty, shots off balance, shots over large double-teams in the paint, shots taken off of broken plays and deflected balls.
An array of badly-timed decisions look even worse on the second, third and fourth viewing. In the first half, Curry put up just one shot that looked like a Curry-shot.
His ninth attempt came after a Harrison Barnes screen on Iman Shumpert allowed Curry to get a step ahead of Shumpert moving from the left side of the arc to the right. On his way, he wove Shumpert through Tristan Thompson and Draymond Green. Off the dribble, with daylight and in a familiar fashion, Curry hit his first three of the game with just over two minutes to play in the first half.
He would only make three more shots the rest of the night.
So after all the bad decisions, off-rhythm and poorly timed shots, there’s the mortal truth — sometimes shooters just have off nights.
Curry felt it. He knew he was off and out of rhythm, as evidenced by his seventh shot attempt of the night. Shooting just one-of-six to that point, Curry started running toward the basket for a possible rebound before the ball was on its way down. He did this repeatedly.
Curry said as much after the Warriors Game 2 loss:
“Shots I normally make I knew as soon as they left my hand that they were off. That doesn’t usually happen.”
It doesn’t. But when it does happen, the world is reminded that these players are just people. Curry is not invincible, and sometimes he won’t play well or he’ll have an off night.