Barry: Curry leads way — and a very merry bunch of Warriors follow 

I was a bit concerned with how Game 5 started for the Warriors on Wednesday, especially with Tony Allen, the Memphis Grizzlies’ top defender, sitting out with a hamstring injury. There were too many turnovers and not enough ball movement, and the visitors were in position for too many offensive rebounds.

After the initial sluggishness, however, the Warriors showed why they are the most explosive offensive team in the league. And why no one other than Stephen Curry deserved Most Valuable Players honors this season.

Curry can be freaking unbelievable — and that is an understatement. Just when things weren’t going well, Curry bailed his team out with an amazing display of 3-point shooting. The Dubs never looked back in a 98-78 victory that was as easy as the score would make it seem.

There are very few players that I would pay to see play. Curry is one of them. I love his passion. I admire his ball-handling. I respect his craftiness. I appreciate how he gets his teammates involved. I marvel at his quick release and accuracy from long range. The guy can flat-out fill it up.

Curry also showed that he can impact the game at both ends. His ball pressure was as good as I’ve seen it in a while. Yes, the guy can play defense, too.

But as dominant as Curry often is, a championship team needs more than one great player. We’ve seen that time and again over the years.

Enter Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala.

Here’s a one-word analysis of each: Thompson, versatile; Barnes, efficient, Green, ubiquitous; Bogut, physical; Iguodala, savvy. Add experience, more depth and the passionate hometown fans, and there’s the success. I love the energy the reserves and Oracle Arena fans bring to the team.

The Warriors live and die by the 3-pointer. If you look at their losses in this series, the Dubs went 6 for 26 from beyond the arc in those two games. In the wins, they went 13 for 28, 14 for 33 and 14 for 30. When the Warriors get after the opponent on the defensive end, they create steals and prevent offensive rebounds. The tempo of the game escalates, and that plays to their strengths.

Special props to the bench, which outscored the Grizzlies’ reserves 32-17, and to Thompson, who overcame a tough offensive start to score 21 points.

Up 3-2, the Warriors head back to Memphis for what I hope will be the final game of the series. They need to commit to defense, ball movement, the backboards and trust in one another. If they do those things, the rest of us will just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Rick Barry played eight season for the Warriors and was the captain of their only Bay Area NBA championship team. In 1987, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. His commentary will appear exclusively in The San Francisco Examiner throughout the playoffs.

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