As of late, Stephen Curry’s game has been scrutinized to death by all kinds of sports analysts and wannabe sports analysts (like myself). Whether it’s his defense, his turnovers, Coach Keith Smart’s usage of him, or his hot and cold shooting, Curry’s game just hasn’t been like it was last season. When Joe Lacob suggested that everyone, including Curry, was tradeble if for the right superstar, it seemed to create a wave of fear that the Warriors were going the ways of the past in abandoning or not properly developing their potentially great players.
But in defensive of Curry are we beginning to go the route of Mike Dunleavy like excuses? I love CSN Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz for his honest opinion of the Warriors shortcomings. I dig the fact that there is no local favoritism or celebratory stories, which you might see in other areas. But Steinmetz recently suggested that acquiring a low-post player would help Curry’s game by emphasizing his strengths (shooting), which would then allow him to do what he does best:
A low-post player would likely impact Curry’s game more for the better than any other player on the team. Guarantee you a low-post player would end the talk of trading Curry, too.
First off, Curry would probably get about a half-dozen more spot-up attempts per game, with a good percentage of them coming from behind the 3-point line. The outside shot is the best and most effective part of Curry’s arsenal.
That would give Curry an ideal opportunity to penetrate and one that would offer him a better environment to succeed in than what he has now. With an over-committing defender, Curry would have an opportunity to play 5-on-4 after he got chased off the 3-point line.
What that means is Curry wouldn’t have to be wearing a defensive player – or be accompanied by one into the lane – while trying to get to the basket. That’s the case most of the time now.
Well, Steinmetz highlights the glaring hole the Warriors have tried to fill for over a decade and a half. But the problem is they just committed mega-millions to David Lee, who is solid but not necessarily a person that commands double-teams in the paint. The next best post-player would probably be Monta Ellis. No joke.
Acquiring a low-post player for the sake of helping the team is a great idea. David West supposedly plans to opt-out of his current contract and could be had for about $10 million. I could see him being a great fit for the Warriors, if the Warriors could find a way to free up some cash.
But Steinmetz’s suggestion feels like a strange apologia for Curry’s problems, reminiscent of how Mike Dunleavy Jr. fans and Mike Dunleavy Jr. himself made excuses about how the coach and the system wasn’t utilizing his talents properly. I’m not suggesting that Steinmetz’s comment isn’t without merit. It surely is. But with the the San Francisco Bay Area not exactly a hot destination for free agents and being cash-strapped with huge financial commitments to David Lee and more, finding a big man who can command double-teams feels like a pipe-dream.
Curry seems like a rhythm shooter and player. And more often than not his command of the offense or ball is what seems to get him into that rhythm, not necessarily just wide-open shots (though that I’m sure would absolutely help). Curry has shown us he’s not the new trend of big guards barreling down the lane, but a savvy player that can get his shot off, especially when he’s not pressing, which he clearly looks to be. As it is now, the ball rotation seems to decentralize the idea of a traditional drive and dish or pick and roll. Perhaps this is Curry’s struggle?