Mavs guard Seth Curry believes he can effectively play both backcourt positions dprice@star-telegram.com
Mavs guard Seth Curry believes he can effectively play both backcourt positions dprice@star-telegram.com

Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks believe guard Seth Curry ‘effectively, a rookie still’ in 4th season

April 06, 2017 08:22 PM

UPDATED April 06, 2017 10:36 PM

DALLAS

Although this is Seth Curry’s fourth NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks view the sharp-shooting guard as just a rookie.

And there are plenty of reasons that they’ve come to that conclusion.

As a rookie during the 2013-14 season, Curry played just one game for the Cleveland Cavaliers and only one game for the Memphis Grizzlies while spending the majority of his time playing for the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League.

Curry then spent the balance of the 2014-15 season with the D-League’s Erie BayHawks, but did get into two games for the Phoenix Suns. And last year Curry was on the floor for 44 games for the Sacramento Kings.

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It’s been tough on Seth because we’ve asked him to do a lot and carry a big load.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

Since an NBA schedule consists of 82 games, Curry entered his first year with the Mavs this season with just 48 games under his belt. Hence, the rookie tag.

After signing Curry to a two-year, $6 million free agent contract last summer, however, the Mavs have not only asked the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder to showcase his wares as a shooting guard. They’ve also asked him to spread his wings and do something he’s done very little of — play point guard.

“It’s been tough on Seth because we’ve asked him to do a lot and carry a big load,” owner Mark Cuban said. “He’s effectively a rookie still ... and just the mental and physical wear and tear to take it to the next level where you’re asked to score 15-20 points, that’s a different expectation.

“Eighty percent of the games he’s doing it. It’s just that next step for him is to be able to do it every game and not to have those five-point games.”

Cuban knows, however, that five-point games are realistic and inevitable for every NBA player. Even for high-scoring veterans like Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes, who have championship sheepskin under their belt.

“Everybody has to go through that,” Cuban said. “Dirk, Harrison, every newbie who becomes a starter has that adjustment and leaning curve.”

Curry is averaging 12.8 points in 29 minutes per game this season and is shooting better from both the field and from 3-point range than his older and more acclaimed brother, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Next step for him is to be able to do it every game and not to have those five-point games.

Cuban on Seth Curry

Seth Curry has made 48.1 percent of his field goals and 42.5 percent of his 3-point attempts. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry has made 46.8 percent of his field goals and 40.8 percent of his 3-point shots in averaging 25.3 points a game.

But it’s not just Seth Curry’s shooting skills that have impressed the Mavs the most.

“Seth is smart and he works so much harder on defense, too,” Cuban said. “I don’t think people realize how much his defense has improved and how carrying an offensive load and defensive load wears you down.”

Curry has missed the Mavs’ last three contests after aggravating his injured left shoulder during the March 31 game in Memphis. The Mavs expect him to play again this season, but it’s not known if he’ll play when they host the San Antonio Spurs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at American Airlines Center.

“It’s just time to get it healthier a little bit,” Curry said of his shoulder. “It’s a little sore, for sure.

“I probably need some time to get healthy. It’s happened a few times this year.”

Either way, the Mavs anticipate Curry being a part of their organization for years to come. While Curry’s recent starts have been at point guard, it’s not etched in stone that will be his position next season.

“We have a system, and so you play within the system and I don’t think it’s that horrible,” Cuban said, referring to the dual positions Curry maintains. “It’s just an extra load.

“He’s more than capable every other way. But, again, he keeps on working and keeps on getting better and that’s the important thing.”

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice