Posted by The Brein
What a way to start a career: under a hail of jealous boos from the New York faithful. None the less, there are no second chances at a big moment and that’s how Stephen Curry’s time as a Warrior and NBA player began.
On the surface the move is puzzling as there were potential bona fide point guards on the board and the hometown team opted for a scoring combo guard. Monta Ellis also might be miffed since he and Curry are about the same size (just above 6-feet and skinny), like to score and will both probably vie for the same starting spot.
Then again, knowing Nellie, an undersized, no-defense all-scoring ‘tweener backcourt could easily be on the menu.
But looking at Curry, I see him are representing the same promise to basketball that stem cells do to the human body (note: do not take this as any sort of commentary on the issue of stem cell research. My thoughts on the subject are boring, unoriginal and wholly not worth reading).
In the same way the a stem cell could eventually be grown into heart, liver or kidney tissue, Curry could be grown into several different archetypes, each different and useful in their own way.
The straight-up scorer
Think Monta Ellis; style but with more range and less speed. He would have the ball in his hands, create as a second option and really look to put the ball in the basket.
In college he showed that he has the skills to be a gunner, which isn’t a bad thing, but might be the most limited path he could take (plus the Warriors have about 22 of those guys already).
Under Nellie this is (sadly) the most likely result. The Don Nelson offense (patent pending) relies on isolations, pick and rolls and hasty shots and can tap into the primal instinct of every top point maker to play like he’s the only guy out there.
Note: this just about goes to hell if the jump in size and speed from NCAA to NBA renders his individual scoring skills impotent. If that happens he’ll immediately be pigeonholed into the next archetype of…
What’s odd is that this type can be even further divided in to subsets, lest call them major shooter and minor shooter-. The minor role is just what it sounds like, a rotation guy, who comes in to space the floor, wander around the perimeter and hit jumpers.
These are they guys everyone wants to put around Shaq and Lebron since they “keep defenses honest,” an idea that never pans out when more than one is on the court. On the other hand this could keep Curry in the league for a while since GMs always want 1-3 pure bombers some where on the roster.
The major shooter, however, is a far more interesting kind of player, and is a job Curry knows quite well. These are the men who spend most of their time traversing around screens with out the ball, only to pop open for a pretty open jumper. This is what Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen have done forever and it’s much of what Curry did when he rocked the hell out of Wisconsin and led Davidson to the Elite Eight.
Should he do this for the Dubs it would be great, mostly because a guard would be able to produce without pounding the ball into the ground.
This does hit two potential snags in both coach and player. Nelson’s offense does not feature much (any?) off-ball movement in the half court making his perhaps just a beautiful pipe dream.
And that pesky height issue again rears its ugly head. Curry is three inches shorter than Allen and four below Hamilton. Kansas (which tends to have quick guys with long arms) gave Curry a lot of trouble two years ago, a sign that he could be on the J.J. Redick path of good college shooter whipped out in the pros.
Baller multifaceted point guard
Think of this as the most idyllic future for the newest Warrior. I heard Nelson say on the radio that he loves the kid’s passing on the break and in the pick-and-roll. Furthermore, when shoe horned into the point guard role last year with a mediocre surrounding cast, Curry responded by handing out 5.6 assists per game.
So we’re looking at a kind of slow, defensively-challenged point guard who does what Nellie wants pretty well and can be a high-percentage shooter from deep and from the line. That sounds just a bit like Steve Nash, doesn’t it?
Now some might scoff and say that Nash is a far better passer. This is true, but in college he averaged 6-6.4 dimes at best, and he for stayed four seasons. Also, look at the teams that wanted him; the Warriors, with the first coach to give Nash a chance, New York, who’s coach rode Nash’s MVP seasons to success, and Phoenix, a team run by Nash for the last half-decade.
This would be the role all Dub’s fans would like Curry to take, but it’s so just very dependant on him having some innate skills and honing the hell out of them. He won’t ever be a good defender (though even Redick got good enough to bug Kobe in a minute in the finals, so I guess there is hope) or rebounder, but the kid could grow in so many directions.
Then again, maybe he’ll be traded for Amare tomorrow, and this whole damn thing will be for naught.
The other important Warrior happening: SOMEONE TOOK CRAWFORD FROM THE WARRIORS! SOMEONE TOOK CRAWFORD FROM THE WARRIORS! It’s amazing since he seemed so untradable, yet the front office got valuable cap space/expiring contracts for their defensively challenged gunner. Will Acie Law have any impact on the team? Probably not, but in the long run, it doesn’t really matter.