Warriors back-up point guard Jarrett Jack said he’s going to have a chat with Stephen Curry. Jack, a playoff tested veteran, said it’s time he and Golden State’s young star have a talk.
“About the importance of these 30 games,” Jack said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “and how the way he conducts himself is going to be very influential on how everybody else goes.”
The Warriors are late in the third quarter of the season. And in their position, they desperately need to finish strong. Riding a five-game losing streak, facing six of their next eight on the road, the Warriors to push themselves to another level.
Looking at their roster, the best candidate to be the catalyst of such a push is Curry.
It’s certainly not on him alone. The Warriors need David Lee to get back to the All-Star level he was playing. They need center Andre Bogut to at least come close to the expectation he’s created.
And Curry alone can’t solve the Warriors’ defensive issues. During the five-game losing streak, the Warriors’ defensive rating was 117.1. Before that, it was 101.9.
But with that said, the NBA is about stars for a reason. Sometimes in a season, it takes something exceptional. The Warriors have relied on fundamentals, principles and intangibles to build a 30-22 record.
But as they jockey for playoff positioning, even a playoff spot, they will need a star. The stakes are higher, the road is harder and the need is greater. So Jack, who is Mr. Perspective, said he wants to prepare Curry to give the Warriors what they need.
“This is that time when everyone is like ‘Whew. We’ve played 50 games.’ A lot of times, when you get to 65 games, people need somebody to look to, to kind of keep ‘em going. He’s been that for us all season. … The games over the course of the last two months, they’re a little bit more spread out. Teams get a little more down time between games. They’re not going to be as beat up as they’ve been. They’re going to be better. I think he’s going to have to carry himself a certain way to make sure everyone else follows suit.”
For his part, Curry doesn’t seem to be shirking that responsibility. When asked what he needs to do for the Warriors to get to the playoffs, his response suggested he knows the pressure is on him.
“I have to be aggressive on both ends and make plays when it counts down the stretch,” Curry said. “Be vocal and composed all the time.”