Without question, the Philadelphia 76ers rise to the top of the Eastern Conference — particularly after a rough stint in the NBA’s Orlando, Florida bubble last season — has been one of the best stories of the 2020-21 campaign. And a number of players deserve credit for making it happen.
Clearly, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have led the charge. Embiid has put together an all-time great line this season and may just hoist an MVP trophy for his efforts. Meanwhile, Simmons has the look of a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Tobias Harris has been hot on their heels all year long, too; never mind the fact that he was snubbed out of an All-Star berth once again.
He may not be in the mix for year-end honors or All-Star selections, but Seth Curry has been a major part of Philly’s success as well. Despite battling COVID-19 and injuries throughout the season, the seven-year pro has provided big-time effort and better outside shooting.
Curry has been particularly good as of late, though, banging down triples at an incredible rate. In doing so, he has played a key role in the Sixers’ current six-game winning streak.
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Curry’s Epic Hot Streak
Since he sat out the Sixers’ April 21 game against the Phoenix Suns, Curry has been scorching the nets from three-point range. Over the ensuing eight games, he has connected on 25 of his 42 attempts (nearly 60%) from behind the arc.
In Philly’s overtime win against the San Antonio Spurs on May 2, he was a perfect 6-for-6 from distance. Consequently, the Sixers outscored the Spurs by 15 points when he was on the floor (in a game they won by just two).
As relayed by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marc Narducci, Curry credits improved conditioning for helping him find a rhythm from deep.
“I have been working hard off the court, just trying to get some cardio, getting my legs back,” Curry said after Monday’s win over the Bulls. “I’ve been just moving a little bit better without the ball, and my legs have been getting stronger.”
“It is a matter of me creating good shots, and if I create good shots, I will make a good percentage.”
Getting Over COVID-19
Although his bout with the novel coronavirus technically ended in January, the time it caused him to miss has affected Curry’s conditioning throughout the season.
“Just having so many setbacks personally, COVID and a couple of injuries, missed some time, and all the games so close together, it’s just hard to get in shape really all year,” he said.
During a seven-game stretch from Jan. 7 to Jan. 20, Curry missed seven straight games, the majority of which came as a result of his COVID-19 infection. The 30-year-old has pinpointed that stretch as the genesis of his tired legs.
“Since I missed those two weeks early in the season, I really haven’t been in good shape.”
However, the team’s winning ways have allowed him to get back into the swing of things.
“The blowout games we had where we didn’t play in the fourth quarter, I was able to get some good cardio after that, and so I think that has been helping me out the past few games,” Curry said.