Prospect of the Day - Stephen Curry

NCAA BASKETBALL: APR 23 Stephen Curry Declares for NBA DraftStephen Curry,
Junior, Davidson,
NBA Position: PG/SG,
H: 6'3, W: 181, Age: 21 

The level of talent around Stephen Curry of both his teammates and his competition often makes it difficult to gauge how well he's really playing.   It's obvious that Curry carries his teams, and defenses game plan to do nothing other than stop Curry.   Given that type of attention, Curry doesn't get many open looks and always has intense coverage.

At the same time, Curry's splits are far, far better against weak
competition than against strong competition.   That could be because a
decent team isn't going to struggle to shut down one player while a
poor team will.  Some have said his role in the NBA won't be the same
as his role in college, however, as he's been slotted as a top five
pick.   Teams may be looking at him to be a primary scorer in the NBA
which doesn't strike me as likely.

First, and most obviously, Curry is a very good shooter.    He shoots
tons of NBA range three pointers already every game because he has more
space out there than at the college three point line and no one ever
leaves him open for kick outs.    He's very active moving off the ball
to try and generate space off of screens, and he uses the pick and roll
to free himself up.

He's shown that he can get his shot off quickly coming off screens,
using turnarounds, handoffs, or behind picks.   His team works very
hard to generate space for him as well.   Their offense is centered
around Curry to a huge degree.    The burden he shoulders makes him
difficult to evaluate, because he's forced to take a lot of bad
shots.  

While it's been written that he's seamlessly transferred to a PG role,
it's worth noting he has roughly four FG attempts per assist.   It's
highly unlikely that Curry could be a PG at the next level.   His
ratios may partially be due to the quality of his teammates, but he's
certainly not actively looking for guys over his own shot.

To his advantage, Curry has become an outstanding ball handler with
either hand.   On my first view of watching his ball handling he had
the ball in his left hand so much that I thought he might be a lefty.  
That ball handling will help him generate space.  

While Curry does drive to the basket quite a bit, he never blows past
opponents.   Even when they're vastly overplaying his jumper, he's
still usually shooting contested shots at the basket.    He's a capable
finisher when he has space, but he doesn't have a great first step and
struggles to create good looks for himself at the hoop.

Curry's simply not that athletic, and that lack of athleticism is what
will stop him from being an elite player.    He's Ben Gordon with less
strength, and a slower first step.   What does that translate to on the
court though?   Who knows.   Without Gordon's quickness how easily
would he create looks for himself?

Defensively, he's smart and makes good gambles for steals.   However,
he doesn't have the athleticism or strength to defend at the next level
if a team iso's a player on him.   He'll likely struggle considerably
on that end of the floor.

Curry will be an NBA player and will be easy to fit in for any team
looking for a shooter.   However, at his draft slot, he seems destined
to disappoint.

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