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Austin Reaves details defensive hardships vs. Steph Curry last WC Semis: ‘Hell to guard’

The Los Angeles Lakers’ second-round postseason encounter with the Golden State Warriors handed Austin Reaves that excruciating reality of how truly difficult it is to contain the great and complex plays of Stephen Curry.

On the teaser of the upcoming new episode of the “All The Smoke” podcast, Reaves detailed the hardships of defending Curry from their playoff bout this year.

“It’s honestly hell… But just the way he moves without the ball—I mean it’s honestly their system, too,” Reaves said. “It fits him to perfection. You literally can’t ever relax. And I remember in Game 1 and 2, chasing him and Klay around, and I couldn’t make a shot. Everybody’s looking at me like, ‘Why can’t you make a shot?’ and I’m like ‘I ain’t got no legs.’

“But his approach to the game too is special, just the way that he sees the game and the way he goes about the game. It was a lot of fun to play them. Obviously [I’m] happy we won, but nah it was a hell to guard him.”

Steve Kerr’s running-and-gunning, fast-paced offensive system for Golden State is specifically formulated to feed the scoring wizardry and exhausting off-ball mechanisms of Curry. Since 2014-2015, it overwhelmingly slapped opponents with that nightmarish experience on the defensive end of the court.

Still, as Reaves stated, he and the Lakers can only be thankful and happy for themselves as they were able to survive on the gruelling six-game set and halt Curry and the Dubs’ title defense. 

Though Curry registered the highest points average for both teams at 26.7 points, L.A. still pinned him to an uncharacteristic 43.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent efficiency from treys. In the pivotal Game 4, Curry notably churned a game-high 31 points, but was extremely rusty with 12-of-30 field goal marks and 3-of-14 shooting from downtown.

Though it was truly daunting to meet both Curry and Golden State, Reaves can still consider it as a blessing in disguise due to lessons and familiarity he absorbed as their contention chapter on the West side is just about to extend its pages for more thrilling and nail-biting stories.

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