Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry is confident that he can carry the momentum he found in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 129-128 win over the Chicago Bulls with him as continues to shake off the rust after being sidelined for the past nine months.
Curry, who is shooting an uncharacteristic 9-for-35 from beyond the arc to start the season, still managed to score 13 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, knocking down two of his three long-range attempts.
“I missed a lot of open ones which — hopefully doesn’t continue to happen,” Curry said after the game. “But the rest of them are just trying to find my rhythm. There’s no excuse, just for what my expectations for myself and shots that I take I always think I’m going to make. I don’t think — maybe one or two of them I would call bad shots. The rest of them I was confident in and ones that I feel I can make. And it’s just a matter of sticking with the program.”
Curry played in just five games last season after missing the majority of the year due to a broken left hand, but he refused to use the lack of playing time as an excuse for his slow start.
“You can talk about how many games I played in a calendar year, but I feel like I can shake that off pretty quickly,” he said. “That’s just a mindset thing, so that’s why in the fourth quarter it turned around and hopefully that carries momentum into the next game. The last thing you can do is just stop shooting no matter how frustrated you get.”
Like Curry, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes that the 32-year-old will get back on track after Sunday’s late-game performance, which included a game-winning 3 by Curry’s brother-in-law, Damion Lee.
“I thought Steph sort of found something there in the fourth,” Kerr said. “He’s been a little frustrated but it’s perfectly natural. For Steph, this is a brand-new team.”
In using Curry’s struggles for comparison, Kerr also noted that he believes new swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. will also break out of his shooting slump soon. Oubre, who was acquired before the season to help offset the loss of Klay Thompson, is now 0-for-17 to start the season from beyond the arc.
“I always feel like coming to a new team is difficult,” Kerr said. “So Kelly’s shooting struggles right now really aren’t that surprising. I know it’s going to turn. Every time I went to a new team in my career, it was very, very difficult to find comfort in my shots in the early going. And I think Steph is actually going through the same thing right now because he’s not as comfortable with where his shots are coming from. Just because of the differences in personnel … Steph’s not used to the same patterns we’ve had for many years, but I think we’re starting to get to some of those.”
To that point, both Kerr and Curry acknowledged just how different this Warriors offense is than the one they have run in years past. Kerr said he has been simplifying some of the sets the Warriors have been running while getting a better feel for his new-look roster.
“Extremely different,” Curry said. “Mostly just because of different personnel and that’s OK right now. We’re learning and growing so I think you got to be honest with yourself. Around the first two games it was terrible and disjointed. Even if shots had gone in I think it was necessary to do what we did from last game to tonight. Kind of cut it down and just work on executing the details and the small things in our sets and try to create shots out of that. As we continue to grow week to week we can add a little bit … I think we had a little bit more confidence that’s going to continue to grow.”
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