New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry is no stranger to Stephen Curry doing Stephen Curry-type things. As a member of the Golden State Warriors’ coaching staff in 2014-15, Gentry had a front-row seat as Curry broke his own NBA record for most made three-pointers in an NBA season.
What Curry did the following year made that year seem, well, pretty average. But as Alvin Gentry put it, Curry’s average seems to be a bit skewed from the norm.
“I thought that if he would have had an average game, we would have had an opportunity to win,” Gentry told reporters after the Pelicans’ seventh straight loss to start the season. “But the shots that he made, it’s an average game [for him] because I’ve sat there and watched him do it.”
Continuing quest for team success
Curry’s 13 made three-pointers, a new single-game NBA record, cast a shadow of brilliance over a less-than-polished performance by the Warriors as a whole. But as far as Steve Kerr is concerned, it is a win that keeps the Warriors’ trend in the right direction.
The Warriors’ 35 assists were one of the many things that contributed to the “good stuff” that Kerr took away from this game. He mentioned that it was a great sign considering that the team as a whole is still not on the same page.
Golden State built much of their offensive success over the past few seasons on quality ball movement. According to Draymond Green, this season doesn’t look to be any different.
“I think [the offense] is going to look a lot similar to what it has the last couple years, but that’s going to take some time,” said Green after the game. “The continuity will come as we get more and more familiar with each other.”
With the off-season addition of Kevin Durant, it is pretty clear that the Warriors will not need as much from Green in terms of scoring the ball in comparison to last season.
Green noted after the game that his role in the Warriors’ offense is in fact different this year. He knows that he won’t get as many shots, but he is just fine with that. “I’m comfortable with just finding them and letting them score and letting them do what they do.”
This, in turn, lets Green do what he does best. When asked if his approach is different this season compared to last, Green said no.
“I wouldn’t say my approach is necessarily different. I still approach the game if I’m open, shoot the ball, make plays, defend, rebound. This team is assembled a certain way,” Green continued. “It’s assembled for guys who score, to score. And guys who make plays, to make plays, and I’m a playmaker. When the need is there, I’ll look to score and when it’s not, I’ll look to make plays.”
Green’s scoring is down from a season ago, but his all around productivity is up. Kerr called Green “brilliant” so far this season in addition to his growth as a player. He understands that there are not going to be as many opportunities for him to score as there were in years past.
“Just simple math in terms of who has the ball,” Kerr said. “But he’s impacting the game in so many ways with his passing, defense and communication. The box score is just going to look a little different.”
Only time will tell
The 2016-17 Golden State Warriors are a constant work in progress. It may take days, weeks or even months before they string together multiple games that live up to their full “super team” capabilities.
But until that glorious day comes, when the rock gets swung around the perimeter quicker than the Oakland A’s can trade their next rising superstar, the Warriors will just have to rely on stellar individual performances such as happened tonight to carry them to victory.