Since the All Star break, the Warriors have implemented their famous Rest-a-Vet strategy and declared all big money players broken or otherwise unfit for flight fare and those precious per diems while running the All D Leaguer rotation into the ground like it cost $45 million.
In the meantime, CJ Watson has returned to completely outclassing the Golden Child, GQ Curry, as the latter plays maximum minutes for maximum empty stats in a maximum empty season for a maximum empty team soon to play in a maximum empty arena. Check out the excellent fan blogger Adam Lauridsen on the Mercury News site and this harrowing State of the Season Ticket Holder address:
Watson was benched for a game after smoking GQ with 40 points in the Sacramento game and various other brilliant playing moments as Curry's All Star and ROY pushing faded away. He was clearly just fine when he came back (and remember, this guy's been playing with something missing in his elbow or broken or whatever since like last year- tough, hungry, good). And he's been great. Maybe Nellie created him as such, huh? Doesn't look like it. Nellie runs Watson less than 30 MPG and Watson puts up numbers in limited time that put Curry's near-48 MPG to shame by comparison.
These numbers are simply remarkable:
Stat: Watson // Curry
MPG: 28.6 // 44.4
PPG: 20.1 // 21.5
FG%: .542 // .455
APG: 3.9 // 7.7
TO: 1.4 // 4.5
RPG: 3.3 // 5.8
STL: 2.4 // 1.55
Curry's also been a 3 point chucking machine since the failed hype gesture Stern and the Warriors orchestrated at Anthony Morrow's expense in the All Star weekend 3 point contest. Watson vs. Curry 3PT shooting since the All Star break: Watson's 13-31 (.419), Curry's 25-69 (.362).
Annual reminder: The Warriors have shot 3 pointers at .410 (7.1/17.4) in their 17 wins. They've shot 3 pointers at .348 (6.9/19.8) in their 45 losses. And strangely enough, they've shot 3 pointers at .373 (25-67) in the three wins since the All Star break (Kings, Hawks, Pistons, all at home). So perhaps the stat doesn't tell us much. But then again, that works out to 22.3 attempts per game in those wins. The pace of games since the break has been ramped up considerably. Rowell and Nelson's ticket sales push of entertaining slop ball has been an abject failure in every way thus far. And no one is confused as to what Nelson preaches (if he even talks to the players any more at this point) when he bothers to work on game planning. Run run run, chuck chuck chuck. It's what they did for 24 games in Spring 2007, what they did against Dallas, and what they did in 2007-08. It's all they've ever done when they've stolen a few wins now and then during Nelson's pathetic return to the bench these last 4 years. This 3 point chucking should be very familiar to Warriors fans and it's ALWAYS been Curry's major tendency. So has a poor AST/TO ratio, incidentally.
The cost of Curry's individual 3 point chucking is points on the other end. Curry has taken 69 three pointers since the All Star break. Anthony Morrow has, as well, and made 3 more than Curry. One can argue that the percentage difference those three makes equate to (.406 for Morrow to Curry's .362) settles the matter: it's no big deal. But it is indeed a big deal when one considers that Curry has 200 FGA total since the All Star break to Morrow's 173 and that Curry is clearly shooting anything and everything in a broken system with no accountability and no legitimate team play in sight. That Morrow has been used a lot since the break is still significant, though. Curry has been run out with the full intention of taking all kinds of shots and racking up all the numbers he can while the team shuts down anyone and everyone they pimped as a core player this time last season. What's going on with Morrow getting all this run, too? He's the only guard available sometimes but CJ Watson and Reggie Williams look pretty OK. (Textbook Warriors: secure the D Leaguer they plan to sign for next season, get him on team payroll and in the locker room, and hide him off court so other teams don't invite him to their Summer team- they did it with Azubuike and Watson, too).
Here's the point:
Stephen Curry is #8 in the league for total FGA since the break. Morrow's 173 puts him in 18th. Last year, the Warriors finished the second half with Kelenna Azubuike's 315 attempts leading the team after the break. That was good for 83rd in the league. Al Harrington's 444 as a Knick were good for 20th. Ben Gordon took 483. Curry is currently on pace to take 564 shots in the second half. Morrow is on pace to take 487. They're being pushed as the future of this team, no doubt about it. But the play is no different-- scratch that, it's WORSE-- under the Nelson agenda now. Imagine putting Anthony Randolph on the floor to take all of his early clock bad shots. Imagine Kelenna Azubuike in there to fight for shots with Morrow and Curry. Don't imagine Monta Ellis or Andris Biedrins because they're still on the trade block come draft day. If they're both with the team for opening night next season, I'm not sure what I'll do or say. It will be an incredible change of course rivaled only by Bobby Rowell freaking out about me and others knowing him better than he knows himself and offering a combined, what, $100+ million to Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette? Kelenna Azubuike may opt out of his deal. If he doesn't, he's trade bait. The team will market Curry and Morrow as but the latest annual future core while they fail to secure a solid roster besides the ticket sales talk points.
Calls from ticket representatives right now feature two names most prominently:
Stephen Curry and Anthony Morrow.
Moving on, and back to how Watson is better than GQ Free Pass in the Nellie Balll Shitwing Attack:
Watson has created 18 rebound opportunities off of 3 pointers since the All Star break. Curry has created 44. His quick clock chucks look pretty bad lately. No play development, no rebounders, no percentages in his favor apparently, and no wins. OK, 3 wins. 3-8 since the break. Watson played in those wins and missed one of the losses. So Watson's winning percentage is better than Curry's, too: .300 vs. .272. The Warriors' shoot-first, do anything else later long ball attack is of course the number one reason they lead the league in Pace and trail the league in rebounding. If the first guy down the court can always shoot as soon as he hits the 3 point line, which is the Nellie Ball play call all too often, the opposition that is already bigger than the Nelson shitwing roster just has to be there in time for the miss.
One team in the league gathers fewer total offensive rebounds per game than the Warriors. The Boston Celtics, however, run at a much lower pace. By the more appropriate measure, rebounding rate, the Warriors are simply record-settingly terrible. They're dead last in Offensive Rebounding Rate. And yet, the Nellie Ball mandate and the Curry natural chuck habit (more than 19 attempts in under 33 minutes per game over his Davidson career) continue to create easy rebounding and scoring opportunities for the opposition.
These things don't change. Giving the 70 year old Active Retirement $6 million man, Don Nelson, the most iso-happy volume chucker from a shitball Star Prop basketball "program," was like giving a dope addict a big bag of free smack. I'm borrowing the analogy from a fellow fan but it absolutely applies. Stephen Curry is naturally a Nellie Shit Ball player and even though he refused to work out for the team because the Star Prop marketing opportunities are bad and because the team is a laughingstock beneath his pedigree'd sense of entitlement as an Empty Gym, Garbage Time All Star, he's landed in the perfect place to be himself and avoid serious work on development at all costs.
As the numbers show, Curry isn't scoring any more points than Watson in the games. OK, ONE extra point. It's certainly not coming from penetration and challenging opposing defenders: Watson's getting to the line almost 6 times per game (.793) while Curry gets there only 3 times per game. Curry has a nice pretty FT% but his empty gym skills remain about the least relevant component of the NBA game. He's getting some assists but he's coughing the ball up at an alarming rate. And a look at his late game work as a distributor should give anyone who ever said "Rookie of the year" and "Stephen Curry" in the same sentence a heart attack as their game-watching and thinking habits are aired for the world to see.
Worse, actually watching any or all of the games lately reveals that he's simply clueless in the half court set now that the Screen-Roll play has been stopped after a 3 game run and his bounce passing and errant cross-court flings remain well below the NBA point guard standard. Hell, his careless work and inaccurate ankle passing aren't even NBA power forward caliber. He doesn't make chest passes or any other two handed, productive passes.
My "volume passing" moniker is still solid gold. Curry is a neurotic robot about heaving up court on the break after cherry picking some cheap/standard Nellie Ball defensive rebounds when the Warriors manage to dupe the opponent into slop ball running (the Atlanta idiots on the bench and in uniform were especially susceptible). So he looks for the easy CP first, heaves it no matter what kind of play is there, and often turns the ball over right then and there. Sheer idiocy. Matt Barnes can do the same thing. The difference with Matt Barnes was that he was strong. His laser outlet volume passing went out of bounds when he misfired (often: "My Bad"). Much easier turnover to mitigate. GQ's a weakling and his lobbish first and only option up court chuck is simply stolen and converted into easy points on the other end.
Can't deal with a double team, can't handle ball pressure (echoes of Marco Bustinelli), can't run half court offense, can't execute basic bounce passes, can't do anything but score and get some volume assists now and then. Baron Davis should have averaged 10+ APG under Nelson easily. But like Curry, he was content to get his points and get some gaudy overall numbers without really worrying about the real game play. Ka-ching. Pay the man. Robert Rowell knew damn well where Baron's "production" came from. Monta Ellis knows damn well "you don't really need a real point guard in Nellie Ball."
CJ Watson is demolishing GQ Stat Pad on efficiency AND raw numbers. The most likely GQ Free Pass hypester retort is that it's Curry setting Watson up to succeed so much since the All Star break. That won't fly. By way of easiest, most glaringly anti-Rowell/Nellie roster construction example, I've seen Matt Barnes run the same full court break point guard role as well and better, for more WINS. Barnes is of course the guy who just stuffed Kobe Bryant and is now probably headed to the NBA Finals once Mike Brown shits his pants at zero hour for the final time in his Lebron coattail riding career. So in other words, Nellie Ball sets this sort of shit up any way. Ellis was this incredibly efficient short-minute break monster CJ Watson has turned into, once upon a time. Now he's out, too?
OK, I'm just rambling at this point.
It's time to face facts.
Stephen Curry is not a top shelf NBA point guard prospect.
He never was.
He might be a decent 6th man on an OK team.
But he seems entirely too self-centered, cocky, sloppy, and entitled to ever accept the role or ever successfully discipline his game to provide meaningful work in such a role. And as a starting point guard, he's the absolute worst in the league.