Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry had a record-breaking season in 2016, besting his own record for most three-pointers made and also helping his team to an unmatched 73-9 regular-season mark.
However, all that will get lost in the history books, as Golden State fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals, losing the series in seven games.
A costly mistake by Curry on a behind-the-back pass to Klay Thompson that sailed out of bounds in the closing minutes of Game 7 played a big part in the Warriors' loss, and it's something Curry still thinks about from time to time.
According to ESPN.com, the play, which can be seen below at the 00:20 mark, still weighs heavily on Curry's mind as he prepares for a chance at redemption starting on Thursday night:
“Yeah, I still think about that [turnover],” Curry told ESPN. “[But] in thinking about that game, it’s funny because I know the concept of making the right play, making a simple play, understanding that there are deciding moments in games and the difference between winning a championship or not could be one of those plays. [With that said,] I came out in preseason this year and threw a behind-the-back pass because I have confidence that I can do it and it won’t change that.”
Curry and the Warriors will take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers again in this year's Finals, with each team having won one of the previous two meetings.
Curry said that, this time around, he's planning on taking care of the ball a lot better in pressure-packed late-game situations:
“You obviously know how much that matters in the scheme of winning a championship,” Curry said. "So, for sure, I understand that when I’m out on the floor, and especially in the playoffs, if I don’t turn the ball over and we’re going to get a shot on every possession down in crunch-time situations, knowing that the ball is going to be sure in my hands, that’s the evolution of the game that I have to try to master.”
Game 1 of this year's NBA Finals tips off on Thursday night, with the Warriors sporting an unblemished 12-0 postseason record through the first three rounds. The Cavs, meanwhile, are 12-1, with their lone loss coming last round against the Boston Celtics.
It should be a fun series between the two teams that have proven they're the best in the league. And, when the game is on the line, it's safe to say Curry will keep things simple this time around.