Golden State Warriors: 3 Things Stephen Curry Can Improve On Next Season

3. Curry needs to become a better one-on-one defender.

May 8, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) posts up against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half in game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT

The Warriors became a significantly better defensive team this past season, but Curry can surely improve his individual defense. Curry has never been known for his strong defense, but he really hurt the Warriors in certain points during the playoffs with his poor play. For example, in Game 5 against the Spurs, Curry looked weak defensively on several occasions. The Spurs had clearly targeted him as a defensive weak link, so they forced Curry to run off of several screens and close out late on whichever shooter he was guarding. Curry ended up guarding Parker and Kawhi Leonard on many possessions, and he looked a step slow for much of the game. Obviously, Curry had a lot of pressure on him on both ends of the court, and he just got out-worked the whole game.

“I was terrible, plain and simple,” Curry said after Game 5. “They outplayed us as a team, but individually I didn’t have anything on either end. I was a step slow, shot wasn’t falling. I was trying to make plays, but defensively I lost a little focus. I personally have got to be better.”

Once Curry gets stronger, he will be able to defend a larger player posting him up more effectively. He also needs to learn to not reach so much when his opponent drives to the basket or he’s playing help defense. When an opponent beats him on a drive, he panics and tends to reach, but he also can’t recover quickly enough to get back in front of his man. During the offseason, Curry can work on his defensive instincts and his quickness on defense.

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