Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter of all time. Hell, he’s one of the greatest players of all time. However, if we were to use a word to describe him, perhaps ‘defender’ isn’t the first to come to mind. Truth to be told, Curry’s defense has always been questionable at best. Still, he’s always been surrounded by great defenders that help ‘hide’ his flaws.
That’s why it seems like Russell Westbrook couldn’t help to crack up after being asked whether if he thought Stephen Curry was an underrated defender after beating the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2016 WCF.
Russell Westbrook cracks up when asked if Steph Curry is an underrated defender pic.twitter.com/Sjjx82hDNY
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) April 5, 2020
Westbrook didn’t even need to answer the question, as his disrespectful laugh did all the talking for him. Needless to say, Curry would end up having the last laugh as the Warriors pulled off one of the most epic comebacks in NBA playoffs history, overcoming a 3-1 deficit to make it back to the Finals.
Notably, Westbrook’s reaction went viral again a couple of days ago and some Curry fans claim he’s not that bad of a defender as most people think, but numbers just don’t lie.
Curry has posted a negative defensive box plus-minus 4 times throughout his career, and he’s never posted more than a 1.7 defensive box plus-minus. Yes, he’s got quick hands and is deadly on passing lanes, but he struggles to hold his ground vs. stronger, bigger, guards and if often caught sleeping when he needs to help in defense.
Even so, that’s just part of Curry’s greatness. Meaning, he’s been a defensive liability for most of his career, yet he’s been the most valuable player of one of the most feared dynasties on NBA history.
Also, seeing where Russell Westbrook is now and taking a look at Curry’s resume as a 3-time NBA Champion, it’s pretty safe to say that Curry should be the one laughing right now.