Pacers legend Reggie Miller chooses Scottie Pippen over Michael Jordan as a wing defender to guard Stephen Curry.
Though he might have had a hiccup in Game Five, Stephen Curry has been nothing but phenomenal in these NBA Finals. The Warriors guard is a top favorite to win the Finals MVP award, currently averaging 30.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 2.0 SPG, shooting 41.7% from the 3-point line.
While Curry had a disappointing outing in Game Five, going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc, many believe the two-time MVP will come out all guns blazing in Game Six at Boston. The Celtics’ defense continues to be criticized, with them sticking to employing drop coverage.
Having been used to seeing all kinds of double/triple teams thrown at Curry, Coach Udoka’s strategy seems anomal. Considering the Cs being the top defensive team in both the regular season and playoffs, Udoka’s technique on the Warriors MVP is baffling.
During a recent appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, while discussing the defense on Steph, the host asked Reggie Miller which defender would give the 3-point King most trouble.
“Scottie Pippen would give Stephen Curry the most trouble”: Reggie Miller.
With Curry having modeled his game according to Miller to a certain extent, the latter knows what could give the Warriors guard problems. Thus when asked who would be the best wing defender on Curry, Miller didn’t hesitate to take Pippen’s name.
A former six-time champion, Pippen had 10-All NBA Defensive Team selections and is known for being one of the best lockdown defenders in league history. Miller had the following reasons for picking Pip.
“I would go with Scottie because if you go back in those series where he won twice against Utah, it was his defense on John Stockton. I think they would put Scottie on Curry and have that length really disrupt him.”
Playing the perfect instigator, Dan Patrick asked Miller if Michael Jordan would be upset that he didn’t pick him. However, Miller would respond by saying the following.
“As much as I love Michael Jordan, I was giving buckets to Michael Jordan. He’s (Jordan) a great defender, don’t get me wrong. He was an unbelievable defender, but you gotta be committed. It was offensively where he was going to do most of his damage, he wouldn’t be that committed. You see how much Curry runs, so there was no way he was going to be able to commit to doing that running all day but Pippen could.”
Though Pippen makes a valid observation, an interesting point here is MJ having a DPOY award while Pippen has none to his credit.