The pressure is really on the Cleveland Cavaliers when they take on the Golden State Warriors tonight in game six of the NBA Finals trailing the reigning NBA champions 3-2 in the series.
The Cavs are playing for their very survival and their marquee man LeBron James is bidding to avoid his fifth Finals heartache in seven attempts.
For Stephen Curry, though, there is a different kind of pressure the first-ever unanimous MVP is dealing with.
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The Dubs No. 30 has broken a ton of records and played a pivotal part in the rise of the Warriors in the past few years, but his below par performances in last year's Finals and now the ongoing series with the Cavaliers has the media speculating if he has the mettle to be the difference on the biggest stage.
Curry is losing no sleep over the notion and is firmly focused on winning his second NBA title in a row in Ohio tonight.
“I don’t really worry about (what people say),” Curry said Wednesday, a day before his team tries to win an NBA Finals on the road for the second consecutive year. “I mean, there’s kind of an historical kind of expectation of the all-time greats in this league that have had great Finals moments and had these kind of numbers and these kind of numbers. None of them played for this team and understood how I try to help my team every single night.
“So, yeah, I want to honestly play better and more consistent, but the situation is right now we’re one game away from winning a second championship, and I personally have 48 minutes to do what I need to do to help my team win. So right now it could kind of get lost in that. But at the end of the day if I’m sitting here tomorrow night with another trophy and celebrating with my teammates, we can talk all day.”
Although Curry is a leader on the court with his match-winning performances, Draymond Green is perhaps the more vocal, quintessential leader on the floor. Regardless, the back-to-back MVP has his eyes set on one thing and would seemingly not care if he played badly in game six and Golden State emerged victorious.
“Everybody leads in a different way, and I don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment and say game five was a direct reflection of who we are as a team and who I am as an individual, as a player, as a leader,” Curry said. “I was out there doing what I was trying to do to help our team win and it didn’t work. So that happens in sports. It happens in our game, and nothing’s going to stop me from coming back and doing what I do to help lead my team in game six. So I’m comfortable with that.”
Game six tips off at the Quicken Loans Arena on Thursday night with the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to force a game seven that would take place on Sunday.