Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
If there's one Dave Chappelle skit I can't get enough of (and trust me, there are plenty to choose from), it's the sketch where Charlie Murphy and his crew play Prince and the Revolution in a game of basketball.
It's comedy gold and also a true story, at least if you consider Charlie Murphy a reliable source. One of the funnier scenes involves Prince, played by Dave Chappelle, screaming at his teammate to "shoot the J."
It gets me every time.
Which brings us to Golden State point guard Steph Curry, the man with arguably the prettiest jumper in basketball right now.
Curry makes up one half of the Splash Brothers with Klay Thompson as his partner in crime. But lately, Curry has been acting more like a "Pass Bro" than a "Splash Bro."
Check out this stat line from the other night against Washington: 14 points with ten assists.
Here's another: 14 points and 16 dimes against Phoenix.
Care to explain this one, Steph? NINE points against the Magic on just ten field goal attempts.
That nine-point effort was part of a six-game stretch when Curry scored 20 or more points on just one occasion. This is a guy who averaged 22.9 ppg a season ago.
So what in the world is making Curry, one of the game's premier shooters, so gun-shy all of a sudden?
Nothing, as a matter of fact. Even during that bizarre six-game period at the end of last month, Curry was still averaging 16 shots a game. He just wasn't making many of them (34-of-96 from the floor, a 35.4 percent rate of success).
It seems even a gunner like Curry can go cold once in a while. But for the first time in his career, Curry is finding other ways to contribute, namely as a distributor. Curry already has more double-doubles (17) than he did last season (15) and with any luck tonight against Milwaukee (he probably won't need it: the Bucks have lost five out of six and hold the worst record in the NBA), he'll have as many double-doubles this year as he did in his previous two seasons combined.
While the Davidson alum may not be on Chris Paul's level yet, his 9.6 apg average is second-best in the NBA. Curry wasn't even in the top ten in that category last season (his 6.9 apg ranked 14th).
And if that wasn't enough to satisfy all you greedy fantasy owners out there, check this out. Curry is averaging nearly five boards per game this season (4.7 rpg), the most of any point guard in professional hoops right now (Russell Westbrook is averaging six a game but he's injured).
This isn't the one-dimensional Curry we're used to seeing. But I have a feeling Warriors fans like this version better. Golden State enters Tuesday on a nine-game winning streak, the franchise's longest since 1975. Back then, Rick Barry was still under-handing free throws instead of shooting threes, mostly because the three-pointer hadn't been invented yet. Three of Rick's sons have put in full NBA careers over that span.
Curry 2.0 seems to alternate between elite scorer and dime wizard every time he takes the floor. For example, Sunday against Washington he was clearly focused on getting his teammates more involved (ten assists). Two nights earlier, it was about scoring (22 points on 7-of-15 shooting).
And then there's some nights where he gives us a little bit of everything. December 29th against Cleveland was one of those nights (29 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds).
So maybe Curry doesn't need Dave Chappelle screaming at him on the sidelines to "shoooot it!" With nine wins in a row and some of the best stats of his career (23.0 ppg, 9.6 apg, 4.7 rpg, all career-highs), I think it's fair to assume Curry has a decent handle on things.
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