There’s no way that you can watch Stephen Curry play a minute of an NBA game and deny that he is gifted. The Golden State Warriors point guard is one of the most lethal offensive players in the game today. He’s without question one of the best pure shooters in the game, but also has solid passing ability and is sneaky good at creating off of the dribble.
However, the biggest issue with Curry thus far in his young career is the fact that he’s never really been able to submit a solid defensive effort for an entire season. In fact, Curry’s ineffectiveness on defense is really one of the things that keeps him from being mentioned among the top guards in the league more often.
Curry has acknowledged his shortcomings on that end of the floor, though, most recently in an interview with Sporting News. In the article, Curry notes that he played solid defense early in the season, but worsened as the year went on. He said that he didn’t know what caused his decline, but also said that he plans to make a concerted effort to be better on defense in the 2013-2014 season.
After the overall defensive season that he had in 2012-2013, up is about the only way Curry can go. Curry allowed 0.95 points per possession last season, ranking a sour 380th in the league. Moreover, Curry wasn’t exceptional against any look that was thrown at him really. He was best against hand-offs and post-ups, but those are two looks he doesn’t see often as a point guard. Meanwhile he was poor against isolation, pick-and-rolls, and spot-up shots, looks he sees quite often.
Curry has the athleticism that could translate into him being a solid defender, as well as nice length. If it is really just effort on a nightly basis, then Curry needs to make sure that he’s putting forth that effort this season. If it’s something with his footwork or IQ, then he needs to work with that. Essentially, Curry has to improve defensively this year; he’s too talented to have such a glaring weakness hindering his star from shining.
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