Stephen Curry has it going again.
And as anyone who ever saw Curry shoot at Charlotte Christian, Davidson and now the Golden State Warriors, when Curry gets it going it is dangerous for opponents and beautiful to behold for everyone else.
Currys Warriors come to Charlotte for a 7 p.m. game Monday his once-a-season appearance against the Bobcats in his hometown. I always circle this game on the calendar every time the NBA schedule first comes out, Curry said in a phone interview Saturday.
But the star of Davidsons NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2008 is in a far different place than the last time Golden State came to town 11 months ago.
Curry didnt even play in that game due to a nagging ankle injury that has haunted his four-year NBA career but isnt troubling him now. The Warriors were already tugging along a losing record and were wrestling with whether to sign Curry to a contract extension given those ankle problems, which forced him to miss about two-thirds of the most recent season.
They ended up giving Curry a four-year, $44-million extension just before the 2012-13 season began. That made Golden State fans happy but likely ended Bobcat fans dreams of Curry, 24, ever playing for Charlotte while in his prime. And Curry has rewarded the Warriors faith, playing in every game and averaging 37 minutes this season.
This is probably the best stretch Ive put together in my career, Curry said, and on top of it were winning. With all the injuries Ive had on my ankle or really the one injury I had repeatedly my patience was really tested. I never doubted Id be able to get back healthy and have a long career, but it was a frustrating process. So this has been a lot of fun.
Golden State entered Saturday nights game against Washington with a 12-7 record and on pace to make the playoffs for only the second time in the past two decades. Curry is being mentioned as a potential all-star. He is in the top 15 in the NBA in points (19.6), assists (6.5) and steals (1.8) per game.
His coach, Mark Jackson, praised him effusively after Curry scored 28 points in Golden States road win against Brooklyn on Friday night. Said Jackson of Curry: Hes a bad man. Ill take him matching up against any point guard in this league. And thats with total respect for Deron Williams and some other guys in this league, but Steph Curry is in that class and he shoots the ball as well as anybody thats ever played. And for the first time in a long time hes healthy, and I think people forgot just how good he is.
Curry comes by the shooting prowess honestly, of course. Hes a literal son of a gun father Dell was a standout off the bench for the old Charlotte Hornets and now is the TV color analyst on Bobcats games. Dell will once again be courtside calling Stephens game against the Bobcats on Monday. Younger brother Seth is now a senior at Duke and one of the key scorers for the undefeated Blue Devils.
Seth can play in the NBA, his older brother said. I know hes a little undersized. But he can shoot and he can score, and everyone needs that.
To make the second half of 2012 even better for Curry, he and his wife Ayesha welcomed their first child, a baby girl they named Riley. She is now 5 months old. Stephen and Ayesha were married in the summer of 2011 in Charlotte, but the family now lives in Californias Bay area. They are all using this Bobcats-Warriors game to visit family in Charlotte.
Since the baby was born in our offseason, I got to do the full-time father thing for about two months, Curry said, laughing. Now my wife is doing a great job. I cant complain too much about anything like sleep deprivation or she might get mad at me.
Curry said the biggest difference in the Warriors this season is improved depth (including former North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes) and that their biggest goal is to make the playoffs for the first time in his NBA career. As a sidelight, hed also like to get a win against the Bobcats in front of a lot of friends and family Monday night. Charlotte beat the Curry-less Bobcats by 12 points in January one of only seven wins the Bobcats had all of last season. Currys matchup against Kemba Walker on Monday night should be dazzling.
This is still a business trip ultimately, Curry said, but its the best kind. Im really going to enjoy the atmosphere. Im just happy Im going to get to play this time.