Seth Curry Proving to Be the Best Perimeter Compliment of Joel Embiid’s Career

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When Sixers‘ decision-maker Daryl Morey traded Josh Richardson and a second-round pick for Seth Curry, immediate cheers were let out from the fanbase. Even with the positive response, few would have guessed just how impactful that Seth Curry would be. In his second season on the Sixers, Curry is putting up historic shooting splits and proving to be the most effective perimeter partner that Joel Embiid has ever played with.

The Absurd Shooting Splits

At this point in his career, no one should be surprised at the caliber of shooting Seth Curry produces. He has a career three-point percentage of 44.01%, which is the third-best in NBA history (trailing Steve Kerr and Hubert Davis). Even with the growth in recognition for his game, Curry managed to raise the bar again this season.

So far this year, Seth Curry is averaging 16.5 points, 3.1 assists, and 3.0 rebounds while shooting 52.4% from the field on 11.9 attempts per game. In addition, he ranks 16th in the NBA in overall field goal percentage, 11th in 2-point field goal percentage, 11th in true shooting percentage, and 9th in effective field goal percentage. All of these numbers mark career highs for the 31-year-old.

When looking at where he does his damage from, the shooting splits become especially impressive. Curry’s three-point percentage is the only statistical number down as he is shooting 40.3% from beyond the arc so far this year. While this is still well above the league average, this would be the lowest percentage of his NBA career from downtown (minimum 15 minutes played).

Curry is connecting at career-high rates from each area when looking inside the arc. The Duke product is shooting 75% around the rim, 57.8% in the 3-10 feet range, 63% between 10 and 16 feet, and 61.1% in the 16 feet to 3-point line range. These absurd shooting splits are about as efficient as they come, and it is worth noting the highest rate of his attempts (44.9%) still occur from beyond the arc, with the second-largest chuck coming in the 16 foot to three-point arc range (21.7%).

Pairing with Embiid

While there are rightfully complaints about the failure to provide an adequate backcourt for Embiid to play alongside, it is important to note that he does not have the easiest game to compliment from a guard’s perspective. Embiid is very ball-dominant and currently ranks fifth in the league in usage percent. He does not excel as a roller or at catching lobs around the rim. While some of these issues may stem from his usage in the offense, much of Embiid’s game is built around attacking in isolation.

The respect that Seth Curry has earned as a shooter plays a crucial role in opening up the options in this partnership. The two-man game of Seth Curry and Joel Embiid has become a crucial part of the Sixers offense since he got to Philly and has been especially prevalent this year.

Despite his massive frame, Joel Embiid has not impressed as a screener early on in his career. He has taken some massive strides forward in this area, and Curry has become his most common partner in this two-man operation. Curry’s shooting ability requires defenders to fight over the screen and helps create opportunities for the big man. While Curry is not the best playmaker, he can punish defensive mistakes when they navigate this situation incorrectly.

Seth Curry is not a perfect player, and there are certainly still some defensive flaws in his game, but the Sixers should be extremely grateful to have him on the roster. The 6’2 sniper carried the Sixers offense for large stretches of the playoffs last year and has continued to build off it this season. Making only $8.2 million this season, Curry is on a greatly valued contract and has produced as the team’s most consistent offensive weapon. The Sixers still have lots of holes to fill on their roster, but Curry has been everything they could have hoped for and more to this point.