Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts offered a snarky response when asked about his team’s lack of defense when it came to stopping Warriors star Stephen Curry during Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Stotts’ initial response to questions regarding his team’s defense was positive as he thought the Blazers only struggled in the fourth quarter.
“Well, to be honest, other than the fourth quarter, the game defensively was manageable,” Stotts told reporters (via Yahoo Sports). “They got loose in the fourth quarter and had 39 in the fourth quarter, but going into the fourth quarter down six, we were finding ways to hang in on a night we were struggling offensively.
“So certainly, they got loose. It’s a combination of how well they move without the ball and pick-and-rolls. Curry and Thompson move well without the ball. I’m sure pick-and-rolls were part of it, bit it’s also their movement and transition.”
Reporter: Houston had success trapping Steph…
Terry Stotts: Didn’t he score 33 in the second half on them?? Yeah, we’ll look at that… #RipCity
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) May 15, 2019
But the brief exchange came on a follow-up question when a reporter referenced how the Rockets managed to stop Curry. Take a look:
Reporter: Houston had some success trapping Steph and getting out on him. Is it sustainable for you to keep dropping the big so far off?
Stotts: I can’t remember. When he had 33 in the second half, were they trapping then?
Stotts: They were? And he scored 33 in the second half?
Stotts: OK. Yeah, we’ll look at that.
Curry finished the night with 36 points and tied a playoff career-high with nine 3-pointers, with seven of those shots uncontested.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Portland’s defense was likely off because of their quick turnaround from their last playoff series against the Nuggets.
“I think every defense is sort of personnel-based, and so you know, these playoff series are always interesting, and they didn’t have, you know, a whole lot of time to prepare, so they have got a tape to look at and I’m sure they will make some adjustments,” Kerr told reporters.
The two teams will face off again in Game 2 of the conference finals Wednesday, with tipoff set for 9 p.m. ET.