When Seth Curry signed with the Mavericks last summer, the fit was obvious. Plug the journeyman sharpshooter alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and reap the rewards. While it started slow, those plans came to fruition in the 59 games Curry played.
After navigating through injuries, rotation kinks and Rick Carlise chicanery, Curry found his groove off the bench and contributed 12.6 points in 25 minutes per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from three.
It was arguably Curry’s best professional season after spending a year with the Portland Trail Blazers and experiencing his NBA breakthrough season a year before with the Mavericks.
Where were they before the break?
As lungs are to breathing, Curry is to shooting basketballs and before the break the sharpshooter was on a ferocious tear. In the four games he played in before the suspension, Curry pumped in 25 points per game while shooting 71 percent from the field and meteoric 64 percent from three. That stretch included a 37-point outburst (13-15 from the field and 8-9 from three) against the Miami Heat and a 21-point shooting clinic against the New Orleans Pelicans where he went 6-of-9 from deep.
Clearly, that’s a small sample size, but if we widen the net Curry connected on 53 percent from behind the arc while scoring 19 points per game after the All-Star break. Even wider, Curry registered 15 points per game while shooting 51 percent from three for the entire 2020 portion of the season.
Curry is truly one of the game’s elite floor spacers, and in his sixth season, he began to separate himself from the pack.
You didn’t come here to find out Curry was a good shooter. You knew that already. But while we’re here, let’s bask in that fact and appreciate someone who has perfected his craft. Thankfully, NBA.com tracks data on certain play types, so we can see just how dominate Curry has been as a spot-up shooter. Per NBA.com/stats, Curry scored 1.36 points per possession on 3.6 possessions per game as a spot up shooter, which put him in the 98th percentile.
Outlook for Orlando
Curry’s role as an off-the-bench scorer/shooter/playmaker will only be heightened in the playoffs. And he’s not going into the post-season blind having played 16 playoff games last season with the Trail Blazers on their march to the Western Conference Finals.
But this time around, the burden will be heavier, especially when Curry plays alongside Delon Wright, Maxi Kleber and Boban Marjanovic. An underrated creator, Curry will be called upon to carry the load with other role players less apt to do so. Curry carried a 2.0 offensive box plus-minus (which Basketball-Reference classifies as a “good starter”) through the season (second best on the team), so his offensive prowess and court-shifting presence will be a key cog in the Mavericks’ attack.