Cooking is right. The 2015 NBA MVP Steph Curry hit shots in Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals that couldn’t be dreamed up in the best of backyard countdowns. They could only be conjured from cauldrons of Reggie Miller and Ray Allen flicks of the wrist.
Steph has reimagined the court as a grid of strange angles and unfound spaces, where there are now infinite spots from which to launch. He’s what would happen if J.R. Smith had as much precision as he does confidence.
And because Steve Kerr has inherited traces of the great coaches who influenced him, namely Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, he will ironically claim credit for the accomplishments of his future Hall-of-Famer’s feats with the same dry wit.
Kerr’s light-hearted modesty is the exact example his young squad needs. He’s never trying to prove much beyond what he can reasonably expect from his group, and they’ve overachieved as a result.
Here, however, Kerr and Curry may share in the success of the latter’s terrific showing in Games 3 and 5. As the MVP point guard noted after Game 3, the Cavaliers’ switches on the pick-and-roll defense against him left a few prime opportunities for him to use his exceptional dribble to face up against a nervous, mismatched big, beholden behind the arc.
The same improbable shots Curry canned at the end of a close Game 3 loss turned into Game 5 insurance policies, perplexing Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson on the way to a win. It’s likely a part of Kerr’s gameplan to allow Curry to improvise when those switches happen, but that’s not what he really meant here.
Or it could be a coach’s nightmare-turned-fantasy, and Chef Steph simmers his stew made of the crowd’s pulse and his coach’s remaining patience.
Either way, it’s working.