Doug Christie was an integral member of the terrific Sacramento Kings teams of the 2000 era. He was one of the NBA’s premier wing defenders, and he also had the ability to bring the ball upcourt and run an offense. Nice passer, too.
Those Kings — which also featured Mike Bibby, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, among others – were one of the greatest passing teams of all time. Their ball movement, like that of the Warriors, could be spectacular. Christie, who was first team All-Defense in 2002-03 and second team All-Defense three other times, no doubt would have had to guard Stephen Curry in any mythical matchup of the old Kings vs. the now Warriors.
The teams also share another commonality: A truly great frontcourt passing tandem. In the Kings’ case, it was Webber and Divac. For the Warriors, it’s Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut. In other words, there was tons to talk about with Christie, who joined the “NBA This Week” on 95.7 FM-The Game and talked a lot of Warriors, and what makes them so special.
Here’s a portion of that interview. Link at bottom:
–On frontcourt passing of Webber/Divac and Green/Bogut:
–Christie: “It’s a joke. It’s one of the hardest things (to defend) of all time because big guys aren’t prepared to defend passers. Their hands aren’t ready. A lot of Draymond, Vlade, Chris, Bogut’s passes are bounce passes. They put them down by a big guy’s feet. And it makes the guards and wing players want to cut. It’s a novel idea that if you cut you actually get the ball back. You’re going to cut harder. You’re going to set picks for your teammates. It’s an absolute nightmare for the defense to stop slice cuts and back picks and have a big guy actually looking for teammates.”
–On whether the Warriors can challenge the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ record 72-win season:
–Christie: “At first I was thinking ‘I don’t know.’ As I continue to watch them, The key term everyone glazes over is ‘team.’ This Warriors team is a team. They play together, they play for each other. When you look at 70, 72 wins that is a tough dish to get ahold of, but this Warriors team you’ve got to think (it’s possible). … This is a young team, a team that has really come together. I think they have an opportunity. Whether they do it or not …
“You figure last year you get 67 wins, you’re five away. … This is a better team, a more cohesive team, a deeper team. When you look at Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, these guys have truly improved. When you add all that together and a more confident Steph Curry, oh my goodness. It is a scary thing. They do have a chance.”
–On how he would defend Curry:
–Christie: “One way is to get a blindfold and a cigarette and just pray. I wouldn’t do that one. I would stick him like I stuck Steve Nash, and a lot of the times we met up in the playoffs with Dallas. What I would do … I was bigger than Nash and I moved better than Nash so that gave me a positive. I would pick him up fullcourt. I would make it difficult. Now it’s not fullcourt like I’m trying to steal the ball. That’s not the key.
“What I’m trying to do is push him left, push him right, make him turn, use his legs. Because he’s a jump shooter. Steph Curry is a jump shooter. I’m not doing this for right now in the first two quarters. It’s for the second half. It’s for him to start missing jump shots. Steph has a better handle, is a little bit more aggressive than Steve. Steve was more looking to pass a lot. You’re going to have to pick him up, you’re going to have to be physical with him. I haven’t seen anyone test him yet. Steph is a nice guy and he’s got the baby-face and everyone plays into that. Kind of like Michael Jordan, and he used to murder you.
“Steph is doing the same thing. I would be up in him. I love Steph, known him since he as a kid. But I would hit him and hold him and we would probably get face-to-face. And it would be a little bit nasty. And that’s really your only chance because Steph Curry is an absolute nightmare.”
Click link for the rest of interview with Doug Christie on the “NBA This Week” on 95.7-FM The Game.
Click link for Steinmetz’ weekly podcast, the one he does with Sal Castaneda … The Sal and Steiny Show.