The Golden State Warriors entered their most recent game against the Miami Heat on a losing streak of 1-4 in their last five games. Unfortunately for them, it became 1-5 as they lost to the Miami Heat 116-109 despite a heroic effort from their superstar and two-time MVP Steph Curry, who finished with 36 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
Following the game, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra shared some insight into what he believes sets Curry apart from the other stars in the NBA and what makes him so tough to defend.
“What a nightmare, isn’t he?” Spoelstra stated to reporters following the game via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I mean, what do you do? His level of skill. His conditioning level is probably the thing that doesn’t get talked about enough. He’s constantly on the move. He never stands still.
“He can do it with the ball [or] without the ball. Just a remarkably skilled basketball player.”
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Curry Trained His Body in a Unique Way
Being in great shape has been a thing for Curry ever since his days at Davidson College. However, now he’s facing much tougher competition and has to be at peak levels of performance at all times.
Earlier in the 2020-21 NBA season, ESPN’s David Fleming detailed a unique skill Curry has been obtained through conditioning his body to keep him going within the NBA’s schedule.
“Curry’s second wind comes from his ability to rapidly lower his heart rate during short breaks, even in the middle of games,” Fleming discovered and detailed. “It’s something he trains his body to do.”
“Once he’s out of breath at the end of most workouts, Curry lies on his back, and [personal trainer Brandon] Payne places sandbag weights below his rib cage in order to overload, and train, Curry’s diaphragm.
“Through conditioning and breathing techniques like this, Curry can often coax his heart rate below 80 during one 90-second timeout.”
Curry’s Skills & Body Are ‘Still Developing’ at 32, His Trainer Says
Curry’s trainer, Brandon Payne, spoke in January 2021 about Curry’s development as an athlete.
“He’s still gaining strength, he’s still gaining power, he’s still getting faster,” Payne said via NBC Sports Bay Area in September of 2020. “Those aren’t things you see out of guys that are 32 years old.”
“He’s still refining movement patterns, and all athletes develop at different speeds. … Not only is his skill level evolving continually but his body still is developing. And that is a rare thing for a guy at 32 in the NBA,” he told NBC Sports.
“He’s got a lot left. That’s not just me saying that because I’m his friend and his trainer. That’s me being honest.”
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Curry Comments on Warriors’ Playoff Chances
Currently, the Warriors are 23-25 and sit 10th in the NBA’s Western Conference standings. If the playoffs began today they would be within the pool of teams competing for the final playoff spots.
However, they are only one game ahead of the Sacramento Kings and a losing streak could bump them down to 11th. Following the Warriors’ loss to the Heat, Curry spoke about the Warriors’ chances of making the playoffs and what he believes the team must do to stay in the hunt.
“The season is not dead. We have a lot to play for,” Curry said to a group of reporters via NBC Sports. “A lot can happen in the 24 games leading to the playoffs and being in position to play our best basketball down the stretch. I really feel like there’s a lot left in the tank in that respect. We just gotta go do it.”