Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings, Stephen Curry tried to take a page out of James Harden’s book and use his patented step-back.
It did not go well.
Steph tried Harden's step-back and got called for a travel pic.twitter.com/buLuGGHYHP— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 6, 2019
First off, that’s not Harden’s step-back jumper, as a lot of media outlets are calling it. As he gathers, instead of taking two steps, he takes one step and then takes two steps. Yes, that’s a travel.
If you’re calling out Harden’s step-back against the Jazz, then you have a much better argument. That’s not the case here.
“That’s James Harden’s move. That’s every James Harden three right there. When (Harden) does the step-back, he travels every single time.”
The Warriors’ announcer is livid. Never mind any objectivity or analysis, he insists that the move Curry does here is EVERY Harden step-back.
In an attempt not to seem *ahem* biased, he doesn’t say that his PG didn’t travel. Instead, he bravely does what no one is willing to do and doubles down to take on Harden’s go-to move:
“That is a travel, so good call by Carl Lane. Let’s see that call at the Rockets games.”
Truly a hero.
On the other side, Steph was insisting something else on the referees.
Curry hits the Harden double stepback, called for a travel.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 6, 2019
Educated guess: looks like Steph uses his hands to tell the ref if he had 13 on his chest he wouldn’t have called it. pic.twitter.com/pTzWaNgrfK
First off, you got the numbers backwards.
I’m just a little confused about this. If Steph is actually putting a 13 on his chest, is he: A. Asserting that if he was Harden, that he would have gotten away with the travel? or B. Asserting that it is a legitimate step-back, and not a travel, and Harden does it, and he attempted to do it too? Because if it’s A, then you’re admitting that you’re travelling purposely, and that’s just not cool, man. If it’s B, then you’re saying that it is an actual legal move (despite your announcer saying it isn’t), and that you’re just not skilled enough to pull it off correctly without travelling.
Also, again, how do you insist on trying to prove a point when you don’t even know which way the numbers go?
Curry addressed it further after the game.
Steph Curry on throwing up a 13 to the referee after he got called for a travel on a James Harden like stepback: “I’ve seen that once or twice. Tried it myself. Obviously they got confused. They knew it was someone else, so they called it.” pic.twitter.com/hBGgaCcsk9— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 6, 2019
So, I did some research, watched some film, and tried to see if what the announcer and Steph were saying was actually true, and that Harden does travel on every step-back jumpshot. I just picked any old random game for objectivity.
In this random game, I counted seven step-back jumpers, each at these times: 0:17, 0:37, 0:46, 0:55, 1:18, 1:40, 1:52. Interestingly enough, not a single one of these looked like what Curry attempted here.
Given that the guy just gave you 44 and a game-winner two nights ago, this is not a good look. Seems like they need to watch a little bit more film on Harden so that they can avoid things like this.