Player Projection: Stephen Curry

 
by Jon Nichols

With the recent announcement that he will be entering the draft, the player I’ve decided to project today using my Box Score Prediction System (explanation here: http://basketball-statistics.com/explanationoftheboxscorepredictionsystem.html) is Stephen Curry of the Davidson Wildcats.

Opinions on Curry wildly differ.  Some feel that he’ll be able to make the transition to the NBA and become a top-flight point guard, while others think his relative lack of athleticism and bulk will be his undoing.  Whatever the case may be, he’s been one heck of a college player.  He scores like no other and almost single-handedly turned Davidson into a pretty good team.  He’s a great shooter with range, and he’s a rock at the free throw line as well.  This comes in handy because Curry is not a one-dimensional player; he’s not afraid to drive into the lane and draw contact.

How does BSPS think he’ll do in the NBA?  Let’s take a look at this projected box score per 36 minutes:

Stephen Curry Box Score

Curry projects to be a great scorer (better than anyone else I’ve projected so far).  Not only will he be a volume scorer, but he’ll be quite efficient as well, thanks to his three-point shooting proficiency and knack for getting to the line.  As you can see, he’ll also contribute in other ways.  Even though he’s thin, he is 6’3, and BSPS thinks that will help him grab about four rebounds per 36 minutes.  He’ll also collect a few assists (although not as many as “pure” point guards such as Chris Paul) without turning the ball over too much.  Defensively, he may have troubles, but he could disrupt offenses by getting steals. 

However, there are a couple of major concerns.  For one, the strength of Davidson’s schedule is not at the level of the other prospects BSPS has examined.  Would Curry be putting up the same numbers in the ACC or Big East?  It’s doubtful.  With that being said, it’s not like Davidson plays a bunch of middle school teams.  Curry has faced legitimate Division I competition.  Not only that, he excelled in the NCAA tournament, where he faced great teams determined to shut him down.

The other concern is his thin build and lack of elite athleticism.  He’s 6’3 but weighs just 185 pounds.  Everyone in the NBA is strong – even point guards.  He’ll need to add muscle if he doesn’t want to get pushed around.  Also, will he be able to get his shot as easily against more athletic defenders?  That remains to be seen.

Whatever the case is, it’s almost certain Curry will be a long-range threat and solid from the free throw line in the NBA.  This will give him some value.  How well he adjusts to bigger and more talented competition will determine if he’s a role player or a great player. 

 

 

 

 

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