How Warriors’ Stephen Curry is giving Celtics problems during NBA Finals

BOSTON — After three NBA titles, after two MVP awards, after more than $250 million in career earnings, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry still heard some variation of the same criticism: You’re a bad defender.

Never mind that he has steadily improved on that end of the floor over the past several years. To prove how far he has come from his days being hidden on complementary shooters away from the action, Curry needed to make life difficult on high-scoring wings in the biggest moments.

Two games into these Finals, he has not just done that — he has proven to be one of the Warriors’ most important defenders. Curry’s basketball IQ, quick hands and added bulk make him a tricky matchup whenever the Celtics attack him in pick-and-rolls, which presents quite the conundrum: Who can Boston exploit defensively when Jordan Poole is on the bench?

The playoffs are all about sifting out any tactical advantage. Since the Warriors hastened the rise of switch-happy defenses eight years ago, offenses throughout the league have countered more and more by hunting mismatches.

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