Warriors

Steph had simple message to Oubre amid shooting slump

Warriors

The shots will start falling for Kelly Oubre Jr. Steph Curry believes that, and so does Steve Kerr.

Oubre, who the Warriors acquired following Klay Thompson's torn Achilles, now is 0-for-17 from 3-point range through the first three games of the season and 0-for-31 on non-dunk attempts. His 17.5 effective field goal percentage is the worst in NBA history through three games in the 3-point era.

Curry is the most prolific 3-point shooter in NBA history. He's had his slumps and knows they don't last forever. After the Warriors' 129-128 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday, Curry had a message for his new teammate.

"I told him after the game, we were all celebrating [Damion Lee's] shot, it takes a lot for a guy to have the energy on defense and impact the game at the end like he did in the third quarter with a bunch of steals and deflections," Curry told reporters after the game. "No matter how he shoots the ball, he can always find another way to impact the game and eventually, he's going to figure it out. I didn't tell him this, but I haven't seen -- obviously we know how he's shooting -- every time I give it to him or every time he's open and he takes a shot, everybody is throwing up the three hands because we're ready to see that first one go in and hopefully there's a flood after that.

 

"He can't lose confidence. He has to take those shots. But he also has to impact the game in other areas that athletically he can do. He did that tonight and that's all you ask for from a guy going through a shooting situation like this until he turns it around."

Oubre has remained confident amid his shooting struggles and knows the shots eventually will start to fall. In his career, Oubre is a 32.4 percent 3-point shooter and is coming off a season in which he knocked down a career-high 35.2 percent from beyond the arc for the Phoenix Suns.

Curry also is going through an uncharacteristic shooting slump to begin the season. The two-time MVP is 9-for-35 from distance through the first three games. Curry still scored 13 of his 36 points against the Bulls in the fourth quarter and hopes that he can build off that momentum and carry it into the Warriors' next game against the Detroit Pistons.

"I missed a lot of open ones which -- hopefully doesn't continue to happen," Curry said after the game. "But the rest of them are just trying to find my rhythm. There's no excuse, just for what my expectations for myself and shots that I take I always think I'm going to make. I don't think -- maybe one or two of them I would call bad shots. The rest of them I was confident in and ones that I feel I can make. And it's just a matter of sticking with the program.

"You can talk about how many games I played in a calendar year, but I feel like I can shake that off pretty quickly," he said. "That's just a mindset thing, so that's why in the fourth quarter it turned around and hopefully that carries momentum into the next game. The last thing you can do is just stop shooting no matter how frustrated you get."

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The Warriors now sit at 1-2 on the season. Golden State has struggled mightily on the defensive end and still is trying to find an offensive identity with all of the new pieces surrounding Curry.

"Extremely different," Curry said. "Mostly just because of different personnel and that's OK right now. We're learning and growing so I think you got to be honest with yourself. Around the first two games it was terrible and disjointed. Even if shots had gone in I think it was necessary to do what we did from last game to tonight. Kind of cut it down and just work on executing the details and the small things in our sets and try to create shots out of that. As we continue to grow week to week we can add a little bit. I think we had a little bit more confidence that's going to continue to grow."

A win against the currently winless Pistons to close out the season-opening road trip would give the Warriors a little pep in their step before they return to the Bay Area for a grueling seven-game homestand.

 

The Warriors hope the slumps are in the rearview mirror for both Curry and Oubre by the time they return home.