Warriors

Warriors

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann and Drew Shiller are the co-hosts of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, they will drop their Outside Observations on the state of the Dubs, and this time, it's Grant's turn.

I've heard what the fans are begging for: MORE STEPH CURRY! Many just want to see Steph get more shots, and others simply would like the ball in his hands more.

Let's first start with his shots, though, because you might be surprised how much Steph actually has been shooting this season.

Curry has been shooting 19.8 field-goal attempts per game this season, his second-most attempts in his career, just trailing his unanimous NBA MVP season, when he launched 20.2 per game (but didn't have to worry about making sure Kevin Durant was well fed with attempts). His 3-point attempts per game tell a similar story, as Curry is averaging 11 shots from deep, the second-highest total of his career and also trailing the 2015-16 campaign when he launched 11.2 per game.

When compared to last season, Curry is taking about three more field-goal attempts per game this season, including over one more shot from deep. Last season, Steph attempted 14 or more 3-point attempts in a game in three of 51 games played. This season, he has done that in 10 of 28 games played.

The truth is, Curry has been shooting plenty this season. Personally, I believe he should continue shooting around the exact amount he is now. BUT it would be nice to see the ball in his hands more.

 

Warriors coach Steve Kerr recently addressed questions regarding this subject, and answered that since the team is staggering Steph and KD, the unit Curry plays with to start the second and fourth quarters includes ball handlers such as Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. As Kerr said: "Steph is perfectly comfortable playing off the ball. Shaun can post up. I like the look of it."

Curry is highly skilled at moving without the ball, tricking defenders and running circles around those who aren't prepared to fight through multiple screens. He is shooting his best percentage from deep off catch-and-shoot attempts, making 46.4 percent. So the numbers don't lie when Kerr says Steph is perfectly comfortable playing off the ball.

And Kerr is right in that Livingston and others play best with the ball in their hands more. But so does Steph as a "playmaker," and he is one of the best players in the world.

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When Curry plays with the ball in his hands, he starts dancing on defenders and can force opponents to send double teams, which automatically leads to better shots for his teammates. He is tied for his career low with 5.3 assists per game, which is no coincidence, considering you cannot feed your teammates when you do not have the ball. I'm not saying Curry should have the ball every single play, but perhaps more of a balance could keep defenses a little more honest and let the Warriors exploit the second units of opposing teams by unleashing Steph on them.

Keep in mind, all the current strategy as it is constructed will be turned upside down with DeMarcus Cousins' return. Kerr most likely will not stagger Durant and Curry as much anymore, letting Cousins, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green man the second unit. This would allow Cousins to get ample shot attempts since he will not be featured as frequently playing alongside the two MVPs to start the game.

So, perhaps these discussions are a moot point as of now, and we should just wait and see how Curry is used once Cousins comes back. Which probably is the approach the Warriors' coaching staff is subliminally employing as of now. But in the meantime, with every Warriors blown lead or loss, it becomes more apparent that Steph should have the ball just a little more. Even if it is just for entertainment's sake.