The Golden State Warriors arrive in Indy as the defending NBA champs off to a record-breaking start to the 2015-16 season. Stephen Curry's role in the crazy level of play the Dubs maintain has made all of their games must-see events.
The Pacers have to find an edge to take out the champs and will need a boost from the home crowd. The problem with this plan is that Curry is both lethal and lovable. What's there to "hate" about Steph Curry?
Well, we gotta find something.
Pacers fans have a time-honored tradition of making sure the biggest bullies on the block don't receive a warm welcome at the Fieldhouse. Just ask Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James and the 90's Knicks. Playoff battles turned them into public enemy numero uno in the Circle City which made MSA and then the Fieldhouse a hostile work environment for visitors.
So while there is no playoff context to help, the Pacers do have a chance to impact history by beating the Warriors for the first time this season. Doing so starts with making life tough on Steph Curry. So if you are having trouble working up a healthy dose of disdain for the league's MVP after six weeks, here are three points to consider which was the best I could come up with to turn your ire on the friendly assassin.
1. Curry dissed the local fans last season by sitting out
Ankle injury? Please.
The Warriors were rolling last season and became the must-see team with Curry leading the way. When the Dubs made their one and only visit to Indy last season they had just beat the San Antonio Spurs in a big Western Conference matchup two days prior. Curry supposedly tweaked his ankle in that game despite finishing and after the important win decided to sit out in Indy.
The Warriors were a hot ticket, mainly because of Curry, so the full house didn't get their money's worth by seeing him in street clothes. Fortunately, Rodney Stuckey shook off his own ankle injury to score 30 points and beat the Dubs.
As Gregg Doyel points out, Curry recovered well enough two days later to drop 32 points on Washington.
2. Curry's oral fixation with his mouthguard is getting annoying
When Curry isn't lighting it up from various points behind the arc, the camera usually finds him during dead-ball situations with his mouthguard hanging out of his mouth while he chews on it like a binky. Even while shooting free throws, Curry will gnaw on his mouthguard.
It is bad enough that we are constantly exposed to this slobber fest during Warriors' games, but as a dad with two boys who spend several hours per week in local gyms, the mouthguard manipulation is a growing trend among the impressionable youth of America soon to surpass the ridiculous leg sleeve knee pads.
3. He did this before leaving Davidson
Curry's supporting role in this Asher Roth spoof video no doubt harmed his draft stock. C'mon Steph, everyone knows Rik Smits is the only Asher Roth track to enjoy.
The struggle to hate on Steph is real but I know Pacers' fans can find a way. Please share your best reasons for giving Curry that special Fieldhouse version of Hoosier hospitality on Tuesday night.