Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry is looking to improve on his defense this upcoming season, according to a recent interview he had with Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News.
The four-year veteran is coming off his best season by averaging career highs with 22.9 points and 6.9 assists to go along with 1.6 steals per game.Last season he also broke Miami Heat guard Ray Allen’s single-season three-point record of 269 that was set in the 2005-06 season by making 272 from beyond the arc.
With all the offensive achievements he had last season,Curry feels if he stays focused on defense he will get better.
“By sticking to the game plan consistently over the course of the season. I was really good my first two months, especially on the pick-and-roll,” Curry said. “I don’t know if it was a fatigue issue, or playing minutes, or lack of attention to detail. I wasn’t that bad. I’ve looked at the film over the summer. But I can be a lot better, a lot more consistent, like I was the first 25 games or so.”
Curry last season carried much of the offensive load for the Warriors but he does not find that as an excuse for his effort on the defensive end.
“No excuses. It’s definitely possible. When I’m in the game, I’m not really thinking, ‘I’m tired. Let me milk it on defense.’ I’ve just got to dig deep. That’s what you prepare in the summer for, to battle through fatigue like that,” said Curry. “So I think it is possible I’m not going to be defensive player of the year. But hopefully I can be top 10 [among point guards] and be able to disrupt some of the best point guards in the world.”
Curry in the interview also discussed that this is the first offseason since 2010 that he will not be recovering or rehabbing from any ankle issues.
“It’s been great — mentally more so than physically. I can’t understate how good it feels to not have to do rehab,” Curry said. “Just not having to grind through the strenuous process. I feel like I’ve been able to pace myself this summer so I can be in top physical shape for training camp.”
Over the past couple of years the 25-year has had several problems with his right ankle. In the 2010-11 season he missed eight regular season games because of right ankle sprains and in the offseason he had surgery to repair torn ligaments in the right ankle that were caused by the multiple sprains to the area. In the NBA lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, he also experienced setbacks with his right ankle causing him to miss 40 out of the 66 regular season games.
Despite having ankle problems last preseason he was able to stay healthy and be a major factor in leading his team to playoffs where they got as far as the second round losing to the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. Curry believes that the Warriors will hit the 50-win mark this upcoming season and also sees his team making noise in the playoffs as they did last year.
“I’ll say 50 wins. I don’t know what seeding that gets us, but I’m pretty sure we’d be a playoff team. Then we’d attack the playoffs like we did last year.”
One thing is for certain with a healthy Curry this offseason, who will be able to focus more intently on the defensive end of the floor and with a little guidance from new teammate Andre Iguodala, who is known for his great defensive skills, it will make for improved defense from not only Curry but also the team as a whole.