To date, the Philadelphia 76ers have been clear winners of the Josh Richardson-Seth Curry swap made last offseason. While Richardson has had his moments in Dallas, many of the flaws that plagued him in South Philly have resurfaced in Central Texas.
On the other hand, Curry has provided the Sixers with the desperately needed gravity only a top-10 shooter can provide. He’s drilling 44.2 percent of his 3-point attempts this season, which is on track with his career numbers. The Sixers have upgraded the fit without losing much talent-wise. Curry has even been a more effective emergency ball-handler than Richardson was.
That said, the Sixers can get even more out of Curry — especially if he continues to play like he has recently.
The Philadelphia 76ers are built to generate good looks on the perimeter. Seth Curry is too good a shooter to be shy about it.
Since the All-Star break, Curry has averaged 16.8 points, taken 5.5 triples per game, and the Sixers are 4-0. While increased volume may have a marginal impact on Curry’s efficiency — he’s only shooting 40.9 percent since the break — he’s still an objectively elite shooter regardless. Curry’s impact is greatest when he forces the defense to pay attention to him. The best way to do so is letting in fly copiously.
In Tuesday’s win over New York, Curry had one of his more confident shooting displays this season. Look at the depth on some of these attempts.
Curry setting his feet and firing from several feet behind the 3-point line is a tremendous use of a possession for Philadelphia. For one, because there’s a good chance it goes in. And secondly, because it warps the defense and creates scoring avenues for teammates.
There is one great example from that clip, when Curry hit a 3 late in the fourth quarter to give Philadelphia the lead. Tobias Harris was iso’d in the post, and rather than stick to Curry, Julius Randle cheated inside to help. Harris kicked it out to the unguarded Curry. I can assure you teams will not make that mistake twice in a row. When Curry is letting them rip, defenses have to treat him with the same veneration as the J.J. Redicks of the world. That being the case, Harris, Simmons, and when healthy, Embiid, will all have more space to put in work.
For someone who is unarguably among the elite of the elites shooting the ball, Curry is too often timid or hesitant. He’s not as bad as Richardson once was, and when he does shoot, the results are much more favorable. But he’s only attempting 4.6 triples in 29.4 minutes per game. He averaged more attempts (5.0) last season despite averaging five fewer minutes. With Curry, it is always the more, the merrier.
He needs to shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.