He is quite possibly the most gifted shooter in the history of the league, and recognized as one of the best ball handlers in the game right now. These things aren’t accomplished just by sheer talent and game experience. He puts in the kind of work that is necessary to be as good as he is before every game.
Before each game, the cameraman usually captures Curry putting in some work for his handles by drilling with two basketballs. He does that for about five minutes before each game, then goes into a 10-minute shooting session involving many shots made and missed. Tim Kawakami of Mercury News provided details:
“Once you step on the court for that 15-minute session, that kind of starts the game process,” Curry said.
Generally, Curry said the point is to shoot at each spot until he makes five, but as you can see, some of the spots he’s doing other things, so he takes more than 5, or has other aims, so he takes fewer than 5.
-The quick descriptors I used are mine only, so they might not quite fit with what Curry was doing, but that’s how I viewed them as it happened.
After the dribbling drills, I counted 120 total makes in 182 shots in 13+ minutes of shooting, not including the tunnel shots.
In the second link I provided above, you can see a full pregame chart of Curry’s work.
As for his handles, see what assistant Bruce Fraser, who regularly works with Curry, had to say about the point guard’s abilities below:
“His hand-eye coordination is far superior to everyone I’ve ever seen,” said Fraser, who has previously worked these kinds of sessions with Steve Nash in Phoenix. “Nash is really good, too; Steph’s might even be better.”
Toward the end of each session, Curry and Fraser get in some physical one-on-one work; Fraser emphasizes the pressure by leaning on Curry and trying to muscle him off the spot.
On this night, Curry responded by bowing his back to push Fraser away then stagger-dribbling left and right … and making six of his eight shots as Fraser lunged at him.
“He’s stronger than he looks, and he’s real torque-y,” Fraser said. “He can be here, get you going one direction and he’ll be way over here” — Fraser points five feet away — “the next. I’ve never seen or played with a guy with that kind of force and the ability to move.”
And this is the drill Curry does before every game:
* Starts dribbling drill baseline out of bounds with two balls. Between his legs, behind his back.
* More dribbling with both balls.
* Switches to work with one ball, taking hard low passes from Bruce Fraser and dribbling from the pass.
* About 4:30 total with the dribbling drills.
Just a season ago, Curry coughed up 3.8 turnovers per game because as good as he was, that aspect of his game still needed work. He displayed the ability to be one of the best passers in the league, but also showed the repercussions of having the ball too often in his hands. Along with turnovers that were simply too careless and unforced, there were times when he would straight get his pocket picked in one-on-one situations by big men like David West and Nene Hilario (sometimes in critical situations, too).
Can you picture that happening now?
In order to be as great as Curry has become with the ball, there has to be constant work put in. It turns out, that’s precisely what he has done. He continues to get better and develop in ways previously unimaginable, and by my count, no big man has picked his pocket this season yet.
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE:
- George Karl thinks he may have found a long-term solution at the power forward spot, from James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom: “I think it fits how I want to coach,” Karl told Cowbell Kingdom. “I want more speed. I want more spacing. I want more pace. All of those things get better when you’re playing your best athlete at four.”… “He’s committed himself for a 30-game stretch to learn and commit to a new system and he’s done it,” Karl told the media earlier this week. “His offense has flowed, it’s got some efficiency to it. I think we’re asking him to expand his game a little bit, which I think is always challenging to a very talented player.”… “I would say yes,” Karl told Cowbell Kingdom as to whether Gay could start long term at the four. “You’re basically talking about 12 to 15 minutes where you are guaranteed that we are going to go that way. He might play 35 minutes a night and play 10 minutes at the four. The game’s going to dictate it.” “I definitely think it’s sustainable,” Karl added.”
- Amare Stoudemire has more than come to terms with his new role as a bench player, believing he has many more years left to play in the league, from Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas: “I’m the last man standing,” Stoudemire said with a smile while stretched out on the floor of the visitors locker room with a pair of compression boots during the Dallas Mavericks’ recent trip to Phoenix. “I plan on standing for a while, by the way. “No, no, there’s no way. There’s a lot of youth in these legs. I have a lot of competitive juices still flowing in me. There’s no way I’m ready to be the next man.”… “This isn’t it for me, for sure,” Stoudemire said. “There’s a lot of basketball left. There’s a lot of high-level basketball left in me. I feel competitive. I have faith in my body, what I can do on a basketball court on a consistent basis. “The next step should be the best step, because I want to make sure I leave the game on a high note. That’s the ultimate goal.”
- Andrew Bogut doesn’t think Alvin Gentry will remain with the Golden State Warriors beyond this season, from James Herbert of CBSSports: “[Q]I want to bring up a couple of guys and you can tell me what they mean to the team. First, Alvin Gentry. [A] He’s been huge. Basically he’s our offensive coordinator, like it would be in football. His main role is with reads and spacing and putting in sets, little tweaks. He’s highly responsible for that and does a great job. Unfortunately for us, I hate to say it but there’s a high chance we lose him in the offseason because he’s just too talented of a coach to not be head coaching.”
- Bogut also touched on the roles he and Andre Iguodala play for the Warriors: “Iguodala’s my locker partner. He’s right next to me in the locker room. He’s a great intangibles guy for us. This is a guy who was an All-Star at one point and put up huge numbers scoring-wise, but he accepted his role. He’s the leader of our bench. He’s probably one of our highest basketball IQ guys on our team and one of our best defenders. He brings a lot of things that some other guys don’t have on the team that he’s willing to do. He’s been absolutely huge for us… There are guys who would rather average 20 on a bad team than average 10 on a good team. And that’s just the reality of the NBA. I really don’t care. I know my role on this team and why we’re winning and the things I’m doing. And I think Andre does too. I think we’ve come to realize that, hey, it was cool averaging 16, 17, 18 points a game and get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs or not even make it to the playoffs, but it’s much cooler to have a chance to compete for a championship.”
John Calipari is desperate to get back into the NBA, according to Steve Popper of The Record: “He desperately wants it,” the front office official said. “He won’t say it out loud. The NBA is the only place he’s ever failed and it drives him nuts. He’s not the same guy he was then. He came to the NBA and he wasn’t ready. He’s ready now.” If it seems like grasping at straws, a big name to save the day, maybe it is. But NBA sources point to ties that are already in place. In the Nets’ struggles, the one person who has held the trust of Prokhorov is the man behind the marketing, the tireless Brett Yormark. While the product on the court has struggled, the branding of the Nets has been a blueprint for other franchises. While Calipari may have left some rifts when he was fired by the Nets, he remained close with Yormark.”
- Mike Woodson doesn’t believe Phil Jackson should have gotten rid of Tyson Chandler, from Al Iannazzone of Newsday: “Had I stayed on board I probably would have pushed to keep Tyson and keep that core group together because that’s what won the 54 games two years ago,” Woodson, a Clippers assistant, said in his return to the Garden. “But people change and you’ve got to live with it and it’s what it is.”… Woodson said, “I’ve kind of moved on. Two years ago was a great run for our ballclub. A lot of things have changed since then. Hey, all I can say is I wish them nothing but the best and I truly mean that when I say that.”
- According to Frank Isola of Daily News, LeBron James is fed up with Kevin Love: “But several sources close to the situation in Cleveland claim that James has tried to make it work but that he’s frustrated by Love’s inability, and in some ways unwillingness, to get with the program. Remember, James pushed the Cavs to trade Wiggins to the Timberwolves to acquire Love, who could be one-and-done in Cleveland.”
- Rudy Gobert. Watch out for this guy, soon to be widely recognized as the most feared center in the NBA.
- This seems to be a pretty popular commercial of Timofey Mozgoz going around, so check it out.
Jim Park is a blogger and editor of Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on twitter @SheridanBlog.