Caught in the midst of a career-worst shooting slump, Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry is holding off on hitting the panic button.
Curry has turned in two straight putrid performances, making just 3-of-17 shots in a win over the Miami Heat and following it up by making just 5-of-24 shots in a 99-82 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Through those two contests, Curry made just two of his 19 three-point attempts.
He has played poorly over a longer stretch, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area noted, as he has only topped 50 percent shooting once in the last 16 games. Curry spoke out about his slump after the January 5 loss to the Mavericks, saying he’s not going to overreact.
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Curry Speaks Out
After two poor shooting performances in a row, Curry said he is confident that things will turn around soon if he keeps putting in the work and staying confident in his shots.
“The ball is just not going in,” Curry said. “It’s a body of work. Over the course of this year, it’s been pretty solid. The last stretch has not been great by my standards. So, you’ve got to stick with the program. I’ve never been reactive in terms of tough shooting nights or whatever. It’s the same process. Just understand the big picture of what we’re trying to do and what I’m trying to do and that it will come around.”
After the loss to the Mavericks, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that Curry has struggled with the extra emphasis he gets from opposing defenses, who assign their best defenders and often double-team him. But unlike last season, the Warriors have been able to overcome many of Curry’s poor performances thanks to strong contributions from the supporting cast. In the January 3 win over the Heat, Jordan Poole came off the bench to score 32 points.
”It was huge, we needed all of his 32 points, and the early foul trouble with Steph it changed our rotations,” Kerr said after the win. ”What a luxury to be able to come off the bench with a guy who’s just started the first 35 games or whatever it was. Jordan has turned into just a critical player for us and he will remain to be critical with all the guys coming back coming off the bench.”
Help Is on the Way
It could soon be more difficult for defenses to focus so much on Curry. His fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson is in the final stages of his rehab for a torn Achilles and could be returning as early as this weekend. Even though Thompson has been away from the court for more than two full seasons after suffering back-to-back season-ending injuries, Kerr said there will be a place in the starting lineup waiting for him upon his return.
“Klay’s gonna start when he comes back,” Kerr said. “I’m not gonna mess around, bring him off the bench or any of that.”
Thompson’s return will also spread out the scoring for the Warriors, with Poole and his career-best 17.7 points per game expected to move into a sixth-man role.