Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry has had an interesting NBA season so far. He’s set the all-time three-point record, been in a shooting slump, dealt with injuries, and played well enough to be in the MVP discussion. Even with all of that Curry has helped lead the Warriors to a 32-12 start so far this season.
The Warriors have dealt with a lot of moving pieces this season. The injuries to Curry and Draymond Green, as well as the return of Klay Thompson. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Curry opened up about several things including the advice he gave to Thompson about his return.
“I’ve let him know: There’s no pressure. We got off to a good start this year so that we could have this buffer,” said Curry, “this middle part of the year for him to get his legs back and understand what it feels like for his body to play at this level again. Two and a half years is such a long time between games. He can still shoot the ball, still crazy competitive and understands the long game. It’s only been a few games. For him to understand he’s going to get back to the player he is in due time … he knows April, May and June is what it’s all about. I can’t wait to see it.”
Curry is right, the Warriors have a buffer with Thompson’s return because of their hot start to the season. The depth of this team, also greatly lightens the load on how soon the Warriors need Thompson back at full strength. With that said he might getting back to himself sooner than expected.
Tuesday night against the Detroit Pistons, Thompson scored a season high 21 points. He also shot 46.2% from the field and 37.5% from three. With that Thompson also had a season high in assists, with four and steals with two. It’s encouraging sign for the Warriors and Thompson moving forward.
It’s no secret that if the Warriors are going to make a championship run, then they’ll need contributions from some of the young players. Elsewhere in the interview, Curry discussed his leadership role with rookie Jonathan Kuminga and young big man James Wiseman.
“I try to give them as much wisdom as I can and hopefully they receive it well. When we were in our first, second, third year in the league — me, Klay and Draymond — we didn’t have this. We had some good vets, Jarrett Jack and some others that helped us become professionals, but no one that had won championships before to come in the locker next to us. Once our guys tap into that, it’s going to look different than some other rookies around the league. Just comparing stats, minutes and opportunities, you have to set your priorities on what’s really important right now and how you can get better so you’re ready when we’re on the stage,” said Curry.
“It’s cool to have numbers and everybody wants that … yeah, that might be important to some people, but can you help us win a championship now, next year, the year after? That’s the big question.”
As a three-time champion, Curry knows what he’s talking about here. It appears like Kuminga has been listening to the advice he’s been getting. In the absence of Green, he’s played a much bigger role. In five games he’s played 24.6 minutes, while averaging 16.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
When Wiseman will return is still an uncertainty. With that it’s also hard to know what exactly the Warriors can expect from him. With a roster as loaded as what they currently have, any positive contribution from Wiseman will be icing on the cake.