#1: How do the Kings guard Stephen Curry
There is no real answer to guarding Curry. He will always do his thing. The only thing you can do is slow him down and that has been a problem for the Kings. His 50-point explosion in Game 7 is what knocked them out of the playoffs last season, and even before that, he never scored less than 28 points in the series. He even won a preseason thriller with a big shot.
Curry is a problem that opponents will probably never figure out, and we shouldn’t expect the Kings to be the ones to crack the code. They need to find a way to slow him down, however. This is only the second game of the season and the biggest thing at stake is pride, but it will be a reoccurring problem.
The Kings and the Warriors are scheduled to meet plenty of times this season and could even match up in the playoffs again, so now is the time to figure out how to approach this Curry situation. Obviously, they can’t start a shooting contest with the best three-point shooter in the history of the NBA, but they also can’t let him get to the rim.
Besides, the addition of Chris Paul exemplifies all the problems Curry poses for defenses. With Paul handling the ball, Curry is free to roam the floor, and that is every defender’s worst nightmare—A state of constant paranoia is the phrase Derrick White used to kindly describe what guarding Curry is like. You can get dizzy just from watching him run around the perimeter, come off screens, and look for an opening.
At first, De’Aaron Fox will most likely be the one to guard Curry. He has already improved a lot as a defender and is willing to take on the challenge, but is that enough? Other than Fox, the Kings’ best bet is Davion Mitchell.
He didn’t earn the nickname Off-Night by standing around. Whoever he is guarding will have a tough night, and that’s exactly the kind of skill you need to slow down Curry. The only problem is that Mitchell sometimes struggles to be an offensive contributor, so the big question is whether or not he can make enough shots to stay on the court and hound Curry.
If he can’t, does Duarte get more minutes or even enter the starting lineup to help out Fox with the perimeter defense? With Paul, Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins, the Kings will have their hands full and might need all the defense they can get out there.