The Kings Should Give Seth Curry Some More Run


The Sacramento Kings are off to a sluggish start to this season after entering the campaign with a lot of confidence, following an offseason full of roster overhauling. The Kings have won just once in their first six games, and are struggling through a three-game losing streak while their star center DeMarcus Cousins battles a strained achilles. Offensive inconsistency has been a big issue for Sacramento, and one, slight solution could be to give a little more playing time to their young guard, Seth Curry.

Over the past three games, all of which Cousins has missed because of his lingering injury, the Kings haven’t been able to sustain an offensive attack. Sacramento has routinely fallen behind by a big deficit, only to make a furious comeback to close to within a couple of possessions, or even take a quick lead. But without fail, they would lose that momentum and find themselves right back in another big hole.

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Curry, mostly in garbage time this season, has proven to possess the Curry Family shooting touch, with a quick release and a good feel from long range. Over the first five games, Curry did not play in two as a coach’s decision, but proved his shooting prowess in limited time in the other three. In about 12 minutes of floor time, the 25-year-old Curry has made four of his six shot attempts, including one of two from behind the arc, for nine points. He also dished out four assists, and earned an even +/- rating.

On Friday against the Houston Rockets, Curry received the most extended playing time in his NBA career. He entered the game with 33 minutes in seven games, but after a horrid stretch by the Kings’ starters, Curry played over 15 minutes. He totaled eight points, making three shots in four attempts, including making both attempts from behind the arc, and recording a pair of assists. He earned a +10 rating on the night, completing a career game for the young Curry.

All eight of Curry’s points came during a blazing hot stretch in the fourth quarter. In the midst of another comeback attempt, Curry drained a three-pointer to bring the Kings within four points. On the next possession, he drove to the rim off a crossover and scored on a finger roll to make it a two-point game. After a Rockets’ bucket the other way, Curry drained a catch-and-shoot three pointer to put the Kings within one point. While this won’t happen all the time, it does show that Curry has the good feel and confidence to put up some points.

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Curry has had great previous success in the D-League, and while that won’t completely translate to NBA success, it does prove his abilities as a shooter. In the last two seasons as a D-Leaguer, one each with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Erie Bayhawks, Curry has averaged 21.9 points and 4.9 assists per game, all while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, 42.5 percent from three-point range, and 89.6 percent from the free throw line.

It would be hard to overlook Curry’s eye-opening performance in this past Las Vegas Summer League, as well. While playing for the New Orleans Pelicans’ squad, Curry won the Summer League scoring title, averaging 24.3 point per game while shooting over 45 percent. It was after that performance that the Kings brought Curry to Sacramento.

With a facilitator like point guard Rajon Rondo on the floor, whose first instinct is to pass the ball, Curry’s shooting prowess could come in handy. Rondo is quite adept at driving to the rim, and if he forces an extra defender to drop down, someone will be open. If that player is Curry, he has the ability to drain the open jumpers with consistency.

Ben McLemore, the Kings’ regular starting two-guard, has gotten off to an extremely sluggish start to the season. He seems to be lacking confidence, and as a result, has been taking poor shots. After starting all 82 games in the 2014-2015 season (one of just 11 players to do so), McLemore has been relegated to the bench in the past two games. So far, the 22-year-old McLemore is averaging just a shade over six points per contest, while shooting 37.1 percent from the floor and 30.8 percent from three, both well under his career averages, in under 19 minutes per game.

Next: Kings Have to Learn to Win Without Cousins

Seth Curry is not his brother, Stephen Curry, and he won’t be able to do all the things that his brother can. Right now, there isn’t a player in the game who can do the things that the elder Curry does. The Kings don’t need Seth to be Steph. What they need is a spark, a boost of any kind.

Curry won’t fix the entire offense. He can’t make up for the loss of Cousins, and not one single Kings’ player can. McLemore could break out of his slump very soon, and regain a stranglehold on the starting shooting guard position. But for now, with the Kings slumping, Curry could be enough to at least push the offense in a better direction. The Kings could find themselves with a strong role player down the road.