The beginning of the 76ers season was not far from ideal. Prior to January 7th, the Sixers were off to a 7-2 start and clicking on all cylinders. The new shooting additions were providing the exact spacing that the offense craved and Seth Curry was leading the charge in this area.
Curry was averaging 17 points per game and shooting an unreal 59.5% from beyond the arc. His chemistry with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons was beginning to develop and he was showcasing a much more versatile style of play than most expected.
Unfortunately, Seth Curry tested positive for Covid-19 and, along with several other members of the team, was forced to quarantine.
Prior to this, the Sixers averaged an offensive rating of 12.4 points higher with Curry on the floor than on the bench. However, his play has taken a slight dip in recent weeks which has begun to trigger concerns within the fanbase.
Curry’s COVID Return
In the victory over the Hornets last night, Seth had likely his worst game this season as a Sixer. He played 29 mins scoring 0 points and shooting the ball a total of just 3 times.
The 30-year-old has failed to return to full stride since his return to play on January 22nd.
In his seven games back he has averaged just 8.4 points per game while shooting 29% from beyond the three-point arc. He exited last night’s loss early due to fatigue.
The whispers of concern over him having too big of shoes to fill have shown face again as Curry has started every game so for this season- averaging more minutes per game than ever before.
The Sixers locker room show their support
Despite Curry looking more tentative on offense than has come to be expected and posting 0 points for the first time all year- his teammates were quick to his defense.
Doc Rivers was first to address it postgame and was quick to dismiss any question posed negatively regarding Curry’s play.
Rivers said he was simply, “not that concerned by it.” He also did not believe in any real changes in the offensive strategy as Doc prefers for guys to “get going organically.” It should be looked at as a positive that they are not dependent on Curry to succeed rather than concerning that he hasn’t hit his stride.
Tobias Harris and Danny Green also rose to Curry’s defense and Green pointed out how Curry spreads the floor as a scoring threat regardless of if he gets the ball or not.
Harris emphasized what a key part of the starting unit is and how each of their styles of play fit into one another.
The 28-year-old all-star candidate put it that, “We’re a starting 5 but each guy needs the next guy.” Curry remains a major part of this starting unit and his fit is extremely noteworthy.
There’s no need to panic when it comes to Seth Curry
Given that the NBA record for 3-point percentage in a season is Kyle Korver with 53.6% and Seth Curry’s career 3-point average is 44.6%, his shooting numbers were always going to come down to earth to some extent.
However, these are still off the charts shooting numbers, and even with the recent cold streak, his average from three-point range remains at 50% from deep.
Just as many members of the Sixers seem aware of, Curry carries a magnitude that opens up the floor for Embiid, Simmons, and the rest of the roster.
The addition of Seth’s sharp-shooting skills to the starting lineup has worked seemlessly in bringing out the best in Joel Embiid’s game in particular.
The Sixers absolutely need Curry to shoot more than three times in a game. For the uniques skillset that he possesses, it is his job to shoot the basketball.
Just as the big-man typically needs to rebound or the point guard usually has to run the offense, Seth Curry must shoot the basketball. In the ever-changing style of play in today’s NBA, it should now be looked at as a selfish play for a player like Curry to pass up on an open jumper.
An available solid look from beyond the arc is often the right shot for the offense to work- in particular when he is the open look after Embiid is doubled down on. Even currently without his shot falling reliably, the respect he requires brings more to the team than many other alternatives on-court play could provide.
Seth Curry is still a perfect match for what is needed in the starting lineup. He has struggled to find his form with the basketball in hand of late, but this will return with time. Don’t let a small streak of bad games in mid-season take away from the valuable minutes he will be ready to fulfill come playoff time.
Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire