Chad Ford: More Love For Stephen Curry

In today’s chat on ESPN, Chad Ford calls Curry’s jumper “a thing of beauty”, says he’s “so clever with the ball”, and shoots down the notion that Curry is too small for his position. He also continues to compare him favorably to Nash:

Nick (NJ): I hope the Knicks do not select steph curry. Regardless of the system, hes an undersized 2 who wont be able to defend anyone or create his own shot. hes got a quick release but i dont think hes worthy of the 8 pick in an average draft year. (and this is well below average). What are the chances the Knicks take Jonny Flynn? Some guys just know how to play in the garden and thats half the battle. And this kid can do it.

SportsNation Chad Ford: I like Jonny Flynn and he could be a good player for the Knicks, but I think you’re wrong about Curry. I got to see him workout today and I think he’s bigger and better than you think he is. He’ll figure out how to run the point and when he does, I think he can be special. His jump shot is a thing of beauty and he’s so clever with the ball. I still think Steve Nash isn’t a crazy comparison.

Can people please STOP calling Curry an undersized 2? He’s a tall 1, okay? He played a full season in Division 1 as a point guard, and averaged 5.6 assists on a team of nobodies. Besides Ford, many other astute scouts have acknowledged Curry’s ball skills, and Bobby Knight calls him one of the best passers to ever play college ball.

15 comments

  1. SlumdogBaller

    I’m not yet sold on Curry at the 8 spot. I still think this is a bit too high for him and would prefer to see Walsh give serious consideration to other players before Curry should they still be on the board.

    Curry’s stroke is undeniably sweet. However, I’m still somewhat suspect of the other parts of his game. Sure, Chad Ford is high on this kid and Bob Knight has even said he’s THE BEST PASSER in college hoops. They are experts so this has to amount to something. Right?

    Well, I’m still not sold on him and here’s why. I think the only premier skill he has is shooting the rock. Sure, this is a valuable skill but does this skill alone put you in the top 10 of a draft? I don’t think so. I see Curry’s other skills – defense, handle, ability to finish, etc. as just average.

    I project someone with this kind of talent to go mid first round (10-15 range) and not mid lottery (5-9).

    I would prefer a player like Brandon Jennings or Jrue Holiday if either are still on the board. Brandon Jennings is just a freakish athlete with a ton of upside and Jrue Holiday could potentially provide the type of two-way guard we have been coveting for quite some time now.

    The key to unlocking the full potential of D’Antoni’s offense is not stacking the team with athletic shooters but, rather, stacking the team with athletic two-way players; players who have defensive effort built in their genes.

    So at the 8, i’ll pass on Curry. However, I will not be disappointed if he is the pick as I have confidence in D’Antoni and Walsh to make the best selection possible.

  2. Italian Stallion

    I don’t watch enough college hoops to have a strong opinion, but the thing I find appealing about Curry is his ability to shoot.

    It’s a funny thing. People say the Knicks have a lot of shooters/scorers, but as far as I am concerned one of their weaknesses last year was that they didn’t have any “efficient” scorers other than Lee and Gallo. But Lee is not a high usage scorer. He doesn’t have much of an outside game and really can’t create a lot for himself in the post. He’s going to give the team 15 efficient points a night in this system and that’s not enough. The jury is still out on Gallo because we haven’t seen him enough. If he remains as efficient when he’s getting a lot of minutes, then IMO all we need is one other good outside shooter. Perhaps Stephen Curry can give us that.

    The rest of out scorers are mostly volume guys. Let’s face it, that’s a nice way of saying they can create and are willing to take a lot of shots, but they aren’t really good shooters.

  3. Dan L

    Slumdog,

    You know I like Curry, but there are other guys I wouldn’t mind seeing drafted. Jennings is not one of them. Lot’s of guys are freakish athletes. Balkman is one. Nate is one. Athletic ability is key in this and any system, but it’s not the most important aspect. Steve Nash for example, is no athlete.

    I think what the Knicks need, especially at the PG spot, is a heady, cerebral player. By all accounts, Curry’s basketball IQ is off the charts.

    Jennings? I’ve made my thoughts on him pretty clear, I think: http://www.knicksfan.net/?p=1651.

    I like Holiday, and I really like Flynn. If Curry was off the board and the Knicks were intent on a PG, I’d take either.

  4. Jon

    Of course, I agree with Dan on this one Slumdog. You may be right that some of Curry’s skills aren’t as flashy as some of the other players, and he’s not quite the athlete, but of the guys you had there, the only one that exhibits a comparable basketball IQ is Jrue Holiday, and he’s the only one I’d seriously consider drafting besides Curry if I was Donnie Walsh.

    Also, Curry’s defense is much better than you think. Like Gallo, he can’t lock someone up on the ball, but his ability to anticipate the action helps him to be a very good team defender.

  5. SlumdogBaller

    @DanL

    From the gambling perspective I can understand your trepidations about Jennings – there are a lot of “Ifs” about his game and his maturity level. While his athleticism has never been questioned, his decision making has (and currently is by his Italian team who is deciding whether to leave him off their roster). Sure, Jennings is a gamble and I do understand argument that says you go with someone in Curry who is more of a well known commodity and a pure shooter then take a gamble on a kid like Jennings who can’t shoot and is having a hard time buying time in Italy.

    I also agree with you about the heady part as being an absolute necessity in running the SSOL. Fast decision making and anticipating how the defense will react is what this system is all about. This is the primary reason why I believe Walsh must go after Ricky Rubio. Our future pg for the next decade is right before our eyes and I hope that Walsh moves mountains and earth to try to acquire this kid.

    For me, after the top 3 (Griffin, Rubio, Harden) the rest of the crop is a tier below and what we would essentially be drafting in Curry is a top flight shooter which, in my opinion, come around much more often then transcendent PGs (e.g. Rubio).

    Additionally, Jennings is seen as a tremendously good fit for Nelson and the Warriors. Since we run a similar style of offense why are we not considering him to be a great fit too?

  6. SlumdogBaller

    @Jon – I must say I too was pleasantly surprised to see that Danilo played some high-effort defense during the limited amount of playing time this year. Since you guys are the experts here it’s nice to know that you believe Curry’s defensive abilities are indeed better then advertised.

    In my opinion, I think that NY’s defensive success will be predicated upon their ability to put players on the perimeter who can defend, thereby assuaging the pressure on the interior defenders (whom we all know can’t defend to save their lives).

    There are two things I like about Curry: 1) his heart/desire/passion, 2) his shot. I hope that he really brings both to the Knicks.

  7. Jon

    Totally agree, Slumdog. If the Knicks can get Rubio without blowing up the 2010 plan, they have to do that. If they can’t though, I hope Curry or Jrue is the pick.

  8. Jon

    By the way, we’re not experts Slumdog. We have no sources or formal basketball training. We’re just passionate Knicks fans like you who work very hard to be well-informed about what we write.

  9. Jon

    Defensively, I’d like to see the Knicks acquire a defensive big man and have a defensive philosophy of never fouling on the perimeter and funneling penetration towards the shot-blocking. But to do that, we’d have to have someone to funnel it towards.

  10. Italian Stallion

    Well, if we move mountains and earth to get Rubio, I hope we find a shot buried somewhere along the line. 😉

    I am the least qualified person to be making judgements about potential NBA prospects. In some Youtube videos I could see that Rubio has some exceptional skills, but fom what I gather from the stats, he can’t shoot a lick. That really worries me.

    The thing that made Nash great in SSOL was that he was a great shooter over and above his passing ability, high IQ, etc… He’s one of the most efficient outside shooters in the NBA.

    I don’t think I we need a guy throwing up bricks all night even if he has exceptional ball handling and passing skills.

    I understand he might improve his shooting with time, but I’m wondering if picking a guy like Rubio might be thinking too long term for the Knicks (if that’s possible). We want to be playoff team next year and look like a team that is one or two pieces away from immediately contending for a championship.

    I see Rubio as a guy that probably won’t be a major contributor or close to peaking for another 3-5 years or so assuming he can ever shoot.

  11. Jon

    @ Stallion. I think your concern about Rubio’s shot is well founded, though his form is fine so I think his shot will improve over time. But he’s not going to be a marksman like Nash or Curry.

    If you’re looking for sort of a loose comparison, I’d say Rubio could become something similar to what Jason Kidd was this season with the improved shooting but the diminished level of athleticism.

    A PG that pushes the ball and can play in the pick and roll can thrive in SSOL, and you have to love the commitment to defense that Rubio brings, but I agree that a deadeye shooter is obviously a little better fit.

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