The Golden State Warriors ran away with a 19-point victory in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Finals and Stephen Curry was arguably the biggest reason for the positive result. The former MVP exploded for 16 points in the fourth quarter (and 33 points overall) to key the Warriors but his on-court dominance wasn’t the only talking point in the aftermath of the contest.
Late in the third quarter, Curry and Cavs reserve big man Kendrick Perkins, who was inactive for the game, were tangled up near Cleveland’s bench. After the game, Chris Haynes of ESPN reported that their verbal back-and-forth didn’t sit well with members of the Warriors. In fact, Haynes reported that multiple members of the Warriors were “disturbed” by Perkins decision not to move out of the way of Curry and some believed “it was a dangerous play” on the part of Perkins.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, Perkins certainly isn’t backing down and, well, his response to the incident is extremely on-brand for a player that was brought in as much (or more) for off-court insight and motivation than on-court play.
“I don’t know why people keep wanting to pick battles this way,” Perkins told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “Might want to choose that [expletive] wisely, man, [rather] than [bleeping] with me. I don’t think I’m the problem that they want, though, might want to pick another battle.”
There is, of course, nothing subtle about Perkins telling Curry to “pick another battle” in this instance and Perkins seemed downright bothered when prompted about his particular role in the dust-up.
“I was just sitting there and he landed on my leg,” Perkins told the Globe. “And he was standing over my leg and I don’t understand what people want me to do. He was like, ‘What you on?’ and I’m like, ‘What you mean what I’m on?’ I’m sitting over here.”
Tensions are obviously high in the midst of the NBA Finals and, at that point in the game, the Cavaliers likely weren’t thrilled with the way things were trending. Still, it is highly defensible for Curry to be worried about the potential for injury when tangled up with Perkins, especially if the always entertaining big man wasn’t going to attempt to elude him in any way.
It seems safe to think that Perkins will inject himself into the proceedings on another occasion before the end of the series and it would be wise to keep an eye on Cleveland’s bench any time Curry, or another member of the Warriors, is nearby.