Monday, May 24, 2010

Why Stephen Curry could have saved the Knicks.

Now, I'm not saying this hometown hero could have carried the franchise on his back, but the Knicks fans had reason to be upset when he was selected one shy of their number 7 pick by Golden State Warriors. Curry coming second in ROY voting and averaging 17.5ppg, 5.9apg and 4.5rpg while their actual draftee was traded after clashing with Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't help matters either. Some of you might say his numbers were inflated by the Golden State scoring assault, and they'd be right.

But this kid is more than numbers. He has one of the quickest releases in the game and shot an impressive 46% from the field for a guy who mainly takes jumpshots. This young talented scoring machine would also have been the perfect point guard to attract LeBron James to the Big Apple. A quick shooting guard who can create his own shot and make plays for others is great, but one who has shown he can thrive alongside a ball dominant player in Monta Ellis is even better. Think Mo Williams, but you know, not a chump who disappears every second game. In three years at Davidson, Curry scored double digits in every game bar two. Playing three seasons is a rarity for a player of his talent, and certainly for point guards in the current trends. But that was just seasoning, letting the already good skills become great. Unlike fellow college great JJ Redick, Curry took to the pro-league like a duck to water and his performance was the bright spot in an otherwise dismal season for Golden State - how they remain a franchise with such a callous attitude towards winning is extraordinary.

He would have made a brilliant Pippen to LeBron's Jordan; a younger player who would thrive on a team where every defender has one eye on one of the best players in the league (yeah you heard me, Kobe still has it, sorry guys). More than that, he would have worked well with Gallinari, another talented shooter on a team who needs a ball-dominant player to complement to sterling effort of underrated David Lee. But perhaps his greatest appeal is the excitement he brings. Curry's enormous 36, 10 and 13 triple-double on February the 11th sent shockwaves around the league and brought an element of doubt into the ROY race which Calipari-coached phenom Tyreke Evans seemed to have locked up by the first two months of the season.

But it wasn't to be, and Curry's drafting by Golden State was a lose-lose for the Knicks and Curry. The Knicks miss out on a local stud who could have gelled well with James and served to entice him to the Garden 41 nights a year barring injury or playoffs and Curry is stuck in a team with no chance of being a legitimate contender any time soon until his rookie contract runs out, because let's face it, now the Warriors know what he can do, no way are they giving him up.

A boy can dream though; maybe the Knicks can throw enough money, players or any combination of both at Golden State to bring him over, but since when have the Knicks management been able to get what they need when they need it. The same pattern will likely ring true this offseason; at the moment even the Nets look like a far better option for LeBron and the Knicks. What a difference a draft pick can make...

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