Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 5/8/13
The matchup of the game for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals will be between San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. In Game 1, Curry went off on the Spurs scoring 44 points on 18-35 FG shooting (6-14 in 3-point shooting) and was the main reason Golden State had a 16 point lead late in the game that later disappeared. Stephen Curry seemed to make every shot he threw up, even the impossible ones that he made look routine. It didn't matter if Danny Green or Tony Parker defended him, he kept his confidence throughout the game and carried the Warriors on his back. This changed dramatically when Gregg Popovich sent his best defender, Kawhi Leonard, on him for the latter part of the game and it showed. Leonard's physical gifts bothered Curry and look for that to happen again, especially if the Warriors' point guard gets hot from the field again. What Leonard must do on offense: He'll likely won't get guarded by Curry on this end, but Leonard's offensive game will play a huge part in his defense. If Leonard can successfully hit jumpers and rest his legs throughout offensive possessions, that'll leave more energy for the defensive end. Kawhi has used screens to get open and has been able to hit the occasional mid range jumper off the dribble. With San Antonio using pick and roll attacks, he'll likely get open looks if Tony Parker can get in the lane and forcing Golden State to send help in the paint. Kawhi shot 7-11 FG for 18 points along with a clutch 3-point shot that helped the Spurs come back in regulation to force it to overtime. What Leonard must do on defense: Curry prefers to move around screens when a taller defender is on him. Leonard's foot speed will play a huge part in this, especially going over the screen. With a 7'3" wingspan, Leonard is going to have him a hard time in getting a clean shot off. It'll be rare if Curry tries to take Leonard off the dribble, since he'll be running into paint help with Kawhi in the back defending. This matchup gives the Spurs a huge advantage in that the Golden State point guard will likely not get any rest if he tries to keep in motion or handling the ball with the pressure Leonard will bring. His quick feet, long wingspan, and height will change Curry's shot and shot selection, especially when Leonard elevates to contest. Leonard may probably not shut him down completely, but giving him harder shots and making Curry use more energy than usual will play a large part if the Spurs want to win this game.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bright future for Minnesota Timberwolves

Eli and Archie Manning say Peyton won’t likely leave Denver if he plays in 2016

NCAA mulls changes to graduate transfer and targeting rules

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Avery Bradley nails buzzer beater to beat Cavs

WATCH: Jimmy Butler taken to locker room in wheel chair

Klay Thompson's first five years in historical context

WATCH: Cubs' Kris Bryant went swimming with sharks

Sports Authority taking steps to file for bankruptcy

Major League Baseball threatens to disassociate from DraftKings

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker