After a disastrous 2019-20 season that saw him sidelined for nearly all of it, Stephen Curry has come back in a huge way, averaging 32.0 points per game last season and 26.8 points per game in this current season. Although his 3-point shot has “struggled” as of late (33.7% in past 10 games) when compared to his normal flame-throwing metrics, his team is still tied for first in the Western Conference and his fellow splash brother, Klay Thompson, has finally returned after a two-plus year hiatus.
He’s also still one of the most famous athletes in the world following the Warriors dynasty that ran into our own LeBron James often, so because of this, GQ profiles are in order. He sat down for a print interview with them as well as a YouTube video where he answered fans’ questions. In one of the questions, he’s asked who in the NBA has played the best defense against him. Stephen Curry gave quite the interesting answer to this, listing his brother Seth Curry, Tony Allen, and…the Lakers’ Avery Bradley!
Avery Bradley Hive we are here pic.twitter.com/Za4iW8rdOP
— Deano “Il Buono” Martino (@FatherBuono) January 11, 2022
Tony Allen is one of better perimeter defenders we’ve seen in the last few decades, being selected to six All-Defensive teams in his 14 year career, with “first-team All-Defense” essentially becoming his nickname. Seth Curry, although he is nearly just as good at shooting the three as his brother, isn’t really known for his defense (B-Ball Index has him graded in the 49th percentile in terms of on-ball perimeter defense). However, it is understandable to be annoyed with your own brother’s defense as he probably does have a keen sense of what you want to do with the ball on any given possession.
But Avery Bradley?! Wow!
What a compliment to the 31-year-old’s defense. It’s definitely something he’s been known for in his career as he has first team (2016) and second team (2013) All-Defensive selections underneath his belt. Still, it’s pretty wild for Curry to comb through all of the defenders he’s faced and pull Bradley’s name out of the hat with only two other players being listed.
The two haven’t faced each other much in recent years, however, with the 2018-19 season being the last time the two played against each other often. That was when Bradley spent time both on the Clippers and the Grizzlies. In that year, Bradley guarded Curry the 9th most according to NBA’s matchup data, with Curry shooting 7-of-14 from the field with two assists and zero turnovers. Curry did only make three of nine 3-pointers against him, however, those aren’t really the worst Curry statistics that would show Bradley has made a difference on him.
But still, NBA’s matchup data isnt perfect, and what we’ve seen from watching Bradley so much in his time with the Lakers these past few seasons is that he is a stifling, pesky defender when on-ball. Curry almost always has the ball in his hand with Bradley basically being a 24/7 on-ball defender when he’s on the court. Although the statistics don’t really back up Curry’s statement, if he’s going out of his way to put Bradley up there with Tony Allen, you know there has to be something there.