Warriors guard Stephen Curry has high hopes after becoming an All-Star for the first time last season.
“I’m trying to establish myself as the best point guard in the league, and just that that quest for a championship is something that I value highly,” Curry told CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday.
New coach Steve Kerr, who as a TNT broadcaster gave Curry a vote for the All-NBA second team last season, will look to help his star player get there by taking some pressure off the guard who carried the load for Mark Jackson’s offense.
According to associate head coach Alvin Gentry, that means taking the ball out of Curry’s hands more often with big men doing more passing so that the All-Star doesn’t have to work as hard every night to score.
“I think if you talk to Steph, I don’t know if he wants the ball in his hands that much at all like it’s been in the past,” Gentry told KNBR. “It’s one of the things we talked about with Steve Nash in Phoenix as he got a little bit older. It’s very tiresome when you come down and basically have the ball 80 percent of the time and you’re creating shots and everything for yourself as well as other players.
“I think we’ll try to alleviate some of that with Steph as far as pitching ahead and getting the ball from one side of the floor to the other, running some pin-downs for him where he can come off and catch-and-shoot, and as I said, try to create easy baskets for him. By ball movement, I still don’t think it’s going to affect Steph one way as far as the shots that he gets, the assists that he has.”
Curry averaged career highs of 24 points and 8.5 assists per game last season, and now when he plays off the ball, the Warriors will have help running the offense. The Warriors envision newly signed guard Shaun Livingston as a player who would not only back up Curry, but also play with him.
“The ideal thing for us was to add somebody that could play alongside Curry because we didn’t just want a 12-minute-a-night guy,” general manager Bob Myers said last month.