DALLAS — His insertion into the Dallas Mavericks’ starting lineup sparked a mid-season turnaround for the team during the 2016-17 schedule. Now, after producing a breakout year during his first substantial playing time in the NBA, 27-year-old combo guard Seth Curry hopes to maintain his spot in the starting lineup this upcoming season.
Last season, Curry put up career-high numbers across the board by averaging 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 29.0 minutes per outing. He also made 42 starts during his 70 appearances, shooting a staggering 48.1 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from behind the three-point arc to emerge as one of the Mavericks’ top contributors in the backcourt. Curry averaged 10.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists during his 28 appearances off the bench, clocking 25.0 minutes a game in a reserve role. He then saw those averages increase to 14.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists per outing when in the starting lineup, increasing his playing time to 31.6 minutes a game. However, after the drafting of rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Curry will find himself in a crowded backcourt that includes second-year standout Yogi Ferrell and veterans Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris. Still, based on his productivity last year, Curry could continue to find himself in the first unit this season.
“I just want to continue to be consistent with my play, so I can get better and just be reliable every single night and carve out my role even more on this team,” Curry explained earlier this offseason when asked about challenging for a starting spot this season. “I mean, we’re trying to get to the playoffs, so we’ve got to be better individually and as a team to get back to the playoffs and to make it in the league. So, it starts individually in the summer, getting better and everybody else having that chip on their shoulder as an individual and collectively as a team.
“I mean, that was new territory for me, obviously, playing a lot of minutes consistently throughout the year,” he added. “There were some stretches for a couple of weeks where I felt a little tired, but I felt like I got over the hump. I figured out some different routines, and I was able to figure out how to keep my body fresh and get ready for games. That’s just part of my learning experience throughout this year, and I think it’s going to pay off for me in the long run.”
Signing a reported two-year deal with the Mavericks last summer worth approximately $6 million, Curry admittedly didn’t know what role would be carved out for him when he first joined the team. However, he quickly made himself at home in Dallas after short stints with Memphis, Cleveland, Phoenix and Sacramento during in his first three NBA seasons.
Curry produced 11 games with at least 20 points last season, leading the team to an 8-3 record in those occasions while shouldering a bulk of the scoring load. He saw plenty of personal success as well, posting a career-high 31 points on 13-of-17 shooting during a 97-84 loss in Minnesota on Feb. 24. Curry also ranked sixth in the entire NBA in three-point field goal percentage, supplying the Mavs with much-needed perimeter shooting on a nightly basis. And after upping his career scoring average drastically from 6.3 points per contest in his first 48 games, the versatile guard sees himself continuing to tap into his full potential this season.
“I’m going to do what I do,” Curry matter-of-factly proclaimed. “I’m going to continue to show things that I did last year and improve on them, continuing to try to be the versatile guy that I am and play the one and the two. Like I said, we’re trying to win games, so I’m going to do what I do. Come back better, hopefully, continue to carve out my role and have a bigger role for myself.”