SAN FRANCISCO — All eyes were on Steph Curry’s feet in the hours leading up to Game 4. Anyone who watched his dazzling 43-point performance in the Warriors’ win might have forgotten his status was in limbo. after a foot injury at the end of Game 3.
Maybe a lucky pair of her signature shoes worked some magic.
Curry wore the same lavender Curry Brand Under Armor shoes for Game 4 that he wore for two key games in Game 3 and for the second half of Game 4 against the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals. When he wears those shoes, the Warriors are 3-0.
Steph Curry is in the purple shoes. His reference. pic.twitter.com/ZdnNszdrwd
— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) June 10, 2022
As the Warriors tried to avoid losing both road games and falling to a 3-1 hole in a hostile TD Garden, it seemed the shoe choice might have been intentional. But Curry was surprised to learn he was undefeated in the purple sneakers.
“I didn’t even know that, so I appreciate you,” Curry said when asked about Lavender’s 3-0 record. “I don’t know if it bothers the juju there if I know about the record now. I have a lot of different colors, so we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. It makes me think now too.
A Curry dressed in purple shoes scored 30 points in the Warriors’ Game 3 win over Memphis at Chase Center, giving them a 2-1 series lead. In Game 4 two days later, he wore a pair of iconic shoes honoring the late TNT broadcaster Craig Sager. But after starting 1 for 6 from 3 in the first half with 11 points, Golden State dropping three, Curry got back into the lavender shoes and powered a slim 101-98 victory to take a 3- 1 in the series.
“Just understand that we’ve been here before,” Curry said at the time of the shoe redesign. “Whether we won or lost, the intentions of giving us a chance in the fourth quarter was all we focused on and then we did. Shock the system a bit.
Is the perfect record in jeopardy now that Curry is aware of it? We’ll see if he comes out again in the lavender with a fourth title two wins away.
Gary Payton’s Elbow II
The last time the Warriors played at Chase Center, Gary Payton II drew thunderous applause as he returned from a broken elbow and a 10-game hiatus.
Since his return, Payton hasn’t even been listed on the injury report. Although he seemed a bit hesitant offensively, he was a key part of the Warriors’ offensive point defense – trying to get the Celtics to more turnovers. And the Warriors’ offense is strongest when they go out in transition.
“I’m awesome. The energy is high,” Payton said. “I’ve been taking care of my body, especially the last few days, and everything with my arm and so on. I’m awesome, full of energy, ready to go.
The consequences of Draymond Green
Draymond Green wasn’t thrilled with the bench in the fourth quarter of Game 4, but claimed on his podcast that he understood why coach Steve Kerr made the choice to trade him to Jordan Poole for a handful of defensive possessions/ offensives.
Green, offensively, isn’t a factor against this athletic, long Celtics defense, but he’s needed to coordinate defensive saves. With Kevon Looney playing a solid game, the decision to switch to Poole for offensive possessions allowed the Warriors to create more spacing and battle Boston’s shot blocking and congestion in the paint, Kerr said.
Kerr didn’t need to explain the decision at the time, Green said on the podcast, and Kerr said Sunday there was no need for a follow-up conversation either.
“No. Draymond is Draymond,” Kerr said. “He’s going to bring it every night. I think the thing that maybe got lost the other night was how good he was in down the stretch. He finished the game with four interceptions. He was brilliant defensively. He did what we had to do to win the game.
“Everyone is locked into their score. Scoring was always the last thing we needed from him. We need his defence, his energy, his strength, his competitiveness. During the match, he made huge plays at both ends.
Green said Juan Toscano-Anderson and Payton were among the players on the bench in his ear, keeping him motivated during the four minutes he was on the bench during the crisis. But he was felt throughout the game defensively — those four steals were indicative of a solid defensive effort that thwarted Boston’s offense in the paint.
“I think I had an impact on the game throughout the game,” Green said. “I think you can get caught up in everything that’s going on, but those who watch and understand basketball, I impacted the whole game. So I don’t think there’s been a change. in the last two minutes.
Sleeper Coach Vacation Speech
At the end of the Finals, the Warriors will lose two of their best assistant coaches.
Mike Brown was hired in May to fill the vacant Sacramento Kings head coaching position and reports that Kenny Atkinson has signed a four-year contract to coach the Charlotte Hornets ahead of Game 4.
Any worries about the impending upheaval are far on the back burner, Kerr said.
“Honestly, the answer is that we barely thought about it just because of the ongoing business. We know that in about a week we can get to all of this,” he said. “I will not comment until the teams involved have commented. So I guess we can have that discussion after the show is over.