Saturday, August 13 2022

Suns’ Bridges explains mindset in trying to shut down Steph originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Mikal Bridges only scored two points and made just one field goal Tuesday night, and yet, he might have been the Phoenix Suns‘ MVP in their 104-96 win over the Warriors at Footprint Center. 

Why? 

Because he was the Suns’ personal Steph Curry pest. Nobody guarded Curry more in a battle between the NBA’s two best teams, and it resulted in a historically bad shooting night from the Warriors’ superstar. But Bridges won’t take all the credit. 

“It’s a whole team effort,” Bridges said Tuesday night. 

Curry scored a season-low 12 points in the loss. He went 3-for-14 from deep and was an ice-cold 4-for-21 from the field — his worst shooting performance in his NBA career when taking at least 20 shots. Curry did contribute much else and was a minus-17 in plus-minus. 

Bridges, while scoring only two points, was a game-high plus-21 and finished with four steals. He guarded Curry for over seven minutes, according to the NBA’s player tracking data, and Curry didn’t score once with Bridges as his primary defender. Curry went 0-for-3 from the field with Bridges on him and missed his only 3-point attempt. 

The Suns used multiple defenders on Steph, but none outside of Bridges even reached the two-minute mark. 

RELATED: Four reasons for optimism after Warriors’ ugly loss to Suns

“What I really did was just be aggressive and be attached with a lot of screens and a lot of slips,” Bridges said. “But it’s a whole team thing because if one guy messes up on the switch, there’s a slip or a 3 for him. It’s a team effort.

“I think our coverages and what the coaches put together, our schemes, it was really good and we executed it really well.”

After a few days off, the Warriors again face the Suns this Friday at Chase Center. Both teams are sure to have made adjustments by then, and coach Steve Kerr knows he’ll have to find ways to get Curry into a better rhythm, no matter who’s guarding him.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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