By Marcus Thompson
Thursday, October 15th, 2009 at 8:02 pm in Uncategorized.
Curry participated in a shooting drill with Acie Law after practice. They had to make a combined total of 10 from a spot before moving on. Law clearly made more.
Not trying to ring the alarm, but it is something I am watching closely: Stephen Curry’s shot.
He’s shooting 31.5 percent from the field, 22.2 percent from 3-point range. But the bigger sign to me is that Curry is missing in practice, too.
No one seems to be worried about it, as Curry is known to be a shooter. Nelson said he has no concerns at all.
NELLIE: “Hey, he’s a rookie. He’s got a lot to learn. Guys are different, they’re more athletic. He’ll figure it out.”
But Curry seems to be getting frustrated with his stroke’s inconsistency.
The Warriors are not above drafting shooters who struggle with shooting (Mike Dunleavy, Marco Belinelli). And Curry’s entire game is centered on his ability to shoot. It sets up his drive. It draws defenders, which opens up passing lanes. It helps his defense, as it makes his man work harder on defense (few things are more depressing on the court than playing good, hard defense and the guy still makes the shot).
Curry is no doubt still adjusting. The 3-pointer is farther than in college, the defenders close out faster, it’s harder to get open looks, etc. But you can tell he thinks he should be knocking down shots by now, as he is reacting noticeably when he misses.
He’s doing OK on the shots on the move. His runner is going down, for sure. But Curry is not sticking the open looks with the consistency you would expect. As rare as they are, he needs to. (That was Belinelli’s undoing. He could nail a fall-away 25-footer with a hand in his face with ease. Give him a wide-open 3 from the corner and it was the furthest thing from guaranteed.)
Standing next to Morrow makes the best shooters look inconsistent, so it is unfair to expect Curry to be as lights out. But all these comparison’s to Steve Nash left me thinking he was money from the perimeter. Sometimes, it certainly looks that way. But there are lots of times where it doesn’t.
If Curry is a streaky, volume shooter at the pro-level, that wouldn’t be the best thing. Nash kills defenses because if you leave him open, he’s going to make it. And you have to account for that. If Curry’s shot can’t be relied on, teams are going to figure that out and that will hamper his ability to get to the basket. Because he’s not strong enough (like a Baron or Chauncey) or fast enough (like a Tony Parker or Monta Ellis) to get to the basket while teams are gearing up for him to penetrate. Curry needs his shot to open up his drive. Without it, he’s much easier to corral.
So his shooting struggles, to me, are worthy watching.
C.J. Watson and Anthony Morrow played one-on-one after practice. I will say, it is amazing how foot work on defense goes overlooked in the NBA. I remember the drills and teaching from high school about how your stance is supposed to be – legs wide, sit low, feet active, paying attention to angles, eyes on the ball and man, etc.
Watching those two play one-on-one, I saw little evidence of any of the basic defensive principles I remember learning. Athleticism covers up fundamentals only so much.
Jackson did not talk to the media today. Not because he wasn’t willing. I was interviewing Biedrins when Jackson came off the court. Nobody stopped him. He got an unofficial day off from the media.
The Warriors owe us.
Acie Law is the smallest point-forward in the history of basketball. Though he’s 6-3, 202 pounds, Nellie has Law playing SF. Why?
There is no minutes for him at point guard. He plays solid, physical defense.
LAW: “I look at it as an opportunity to get a chance to play. I think the biggest thing is he thinks I can defend bigger guards. We have some small guards on our team. I’m a little bigger than them. He feels comfortable playing me on bigger guys.”
It started in Anaheim. Ellis sprained his ankle early, leaving Curry as the main point guard. Nellie wound up putting Law in next to Curry, and Law matched up with Kobe.
He did as well as you could expect. He was physical and able to hold his ground with Kobe, and wasn’t afraid to give a hard foul.
Since then, Nellie has had Law guard Jackson in practice, getting Law ready for minutes at SF.
LAW: “It’s a challenge. I look forward to that. Jack is one of top players in the league. It’s fun. It’s bettering my game. I’m trying to make him better, being hard, fouling him, making it tough for him. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Warriors have Jackson and Maggette and Azubuike at SF, so I don’t know why Nellie would want Law there.
Maybe he’s preparing for Jackson to be gone, or in case Maggette gets injured. Still, Morrow seems more suitable, though he may not be as good a defender as Law. Or, maybe, Nellie just wants to go with three small guards: Ellis, Curry and Law.
Either way, not sure it’s good news for C.J. Watson. I think is spot is still secure as the third PG, but not as secure.