How Stephen Curry having ball in his hands more could help Warriors


How Stephen Curry having ball in his hands more could help 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.

[RELATED: What went right, what went wrong in Warriors' OT loss to Rockets]

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.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 124-122 overtime loss to Knicks

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 124-122 overtime loss to Knicks


SAN FRANCISCO -- In the battle of the worst teams in the NBA, the Warriors came up short.

In their latest effort -- a 124-122 overtime loss to the dysfunctional Knicks (5-20) at Chase Center -- the Warriors (5-21) were bullied from the start as New York built a 22-point first-half lead. 

For much of the season, Golden State's veteran core has been warned that these types of starts will not end in its favor, considering the Warriors' lack of talent. On Wednesday, the team didn't take heed to the message, losing their second straight game. 

Here are the takeaways.

Warriors get bullied early

Bad starts have been the norm for this iteration of the Warriors and Wednesday was no different. Through the first 24 minutes, the Knicks built an 18-point halftime lead as Julius Randle, Marcus Morris Sr., and rookie RJ Barrett scored 44 points combined through the first two quarters.

The Warriors responded after halftime, outscoring the Knicks 37-21 over a stretch in the second half and showed the effort they should have put forth at the beginning of the game. D'Angelo Russell sent the game into overtime with a late 3-pointer.

In previous years, with a star-studded roster, Golden State could afford such starts with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson looming in the wings. Now, with a younger cast, these types of starts can't happen. 

Solid game from Draymond Green

In a season he's not expected to score, Green did just that Wednesday evening, finishing with 14 points in 34 minutes. 

Playing mostly point forward role, he grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 12 assists, helping Russell and Glenn Robinson reach double figures. With three minutes left in regulation, Green found Russell for a 3-pointer to bring the Warriors within two points. On the next possession, he grabbed a rebound, found Russell again, leading to another score to tie the game. 

This year has been a trying one for the three-time champion as he's trading wins for lessons, putting his arms around the young roster. But as he showed, Wednesday, he's still got some game. 

Eric Paschall rookie wall?

Sure looks like it after his latest output. In 17 minutes, Paschall finished with just six points on 2-of-6 from the field. Entering Wednesday, he was one of the best rookies in the league. However, he's shooting just 39 percent from the field over his last three games as a hip injury is impeding his progress. 

In Wednesday's loss, he was battered, frequently grimacing, even after jamming his hand. 

No matter how good Paschall was at the start of the season, a rookie wall was inevitable. His response in the coming days will be vital.

Watch rehabbing Klay Thompson hit half-court shot at Chase Center

Watch rehabbing Klay Thompson hit half-court shot at Chase Center

Klay Thompson has yet to play a game at Chase Center, but on Wednesday night, he was seen shooting on the Warriors' new home court.

Prior to the Warriors' game against the Knicks, Thompson spent a few minutes shooting and even nailed a half-court shot.

A day earlier, the All-Star shooting guard was seen shooting after Warriors practice.

Thompson is rehabbing from surgery on his left ACL and is still months away from returning to game action.

With the Warriors mired in a 5-20 season, fans will take all the positive developments they can get.

[RELATED: Ayesha says Steph's injury was 'really, really bad']

We'll be honest: It's good to see Klay's sweet stroke again.