Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said opponents are "terrified" of red-hot teammate Stephen Curry, who continued his recent scoring barrage with 41 points in Monday's 123-108 road win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
"Anytime you step on the floor with Steph Curry, there's an advantage there," Green told reporters. "So, teams are terrified of him—and everywhere he runs on the floor, with or without the ball, teams are terrified. That type of gravity, he pulls a lot of weight.”
Curry knocked down 14 of his 26 shots, including eight threes, against a desperate Pelicans squad that's fighting for its playoff life in the final weeks of the regular season. The two-time NBA MVP also tallied eight assists, four rebounds and a steal across 35 minutes.
Along with making a late surge into this year's MVP conversation, he's also setting the Warriors up to become a tough matchup in the play-in tournament and the playoffs.
"I wouldn't want to see a team with Steph Curry on it," Green said. "We all know what he's capable of. The guy can take over a game and make it hard for any team in the NBA on any given night."
Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson explained that along with Curry's individual success, his ability to make shots from just about anywhere on the floor creates space for everybody else.
"If you get into a street fight and you've got Mike Tyson standing on the side of you, how you gonna feel?" Toscano-Anderson said. "That's the best analogy I can give you. He's just—he's different, man. So, I know if I get into a pickle, I'm looking for him; he's going to make something happen more often than not. The defense, he's just a magnet; the defense is just gravitating toward him, so it's opening up a lot of things."
Golden State (33-32) is fighting on two fronts heading into the final seven games of its regular-season schedule.
The Warriors are 3.5 games behind the Dallas Mavericks (36-28) for the sixth seed, which would allow them to avoid the play-in tournament and advance directly into the postseason, and they are now four games ahead of the Pelicans (29-36), who are currently the first team out of the playoff picture in the West as the No. 11 seed.
Golden State and New Orleans face off again Tuesday night, and another win by the Dubs would all but assure them a top-10 spot.