The year was 2017. THEY were once again sleeping on the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Blazers ended up with 48 wins and the third seed in the brutal Western Conference, shutting down critics and keyboard warriors alike. Until…
Jrue Holiday happened.
The Blazers went on to drop the series in 0-4 fashion, but the bad news was just beginning. The offseason was just as bleh as the first round of the playoffs.
Now we’re just weeks away with more questions than answers as it pertains to the 2018-19 edition of Rip City Season. Jared Wright and Bryant Knox of Oregon Sports News are back with their in-depth Portland Trail Blazers 2017-18 Season Previews for each player.
Today, we take a look at the “other” Curry, Seth—a player looking to finally escape the shadow of his brother and make a name for himself.
Seth Curry’s 2017-18 season was over before it started. The then-27-year-old endured a left tibia injury, and although he wasn’t ruled out for the year right away, it was announced in February that he’d miss the remainder of the campaign as a result of surgery.
What He Brings To The Table
In true Curry fashion, Seth is a shooter. His dad, Dell, was a shooter. His brother’s a shooter. And for his career, Seth has shot 43.2 percent from deep while attempting nearly four three-pointers per contest.
In his most recent full season with the Dallas Mavericks (2016-17), the 6’2”, 185-pound guard knocked down 42.5 percent of his triples on 4.6 long balls per night, and the year before that he was completing 45 percent on an average of 2.5 attempts.
That’s good news for a Blazers team that was good-not-great from distance last year. In 2017-18, Portland sat just outside the top 10 in three-point percentage but was also a near bottom-10 squad in deep attempts.
But that’s not all Curry brings to the table. He also brings with him a chip on his shoulder. And if you’ve followed the careers of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and to an extent Jusuf Nurkic, you know that’s a trait that will help him fit in right away.
Spending the early part of your career in your older brother’s shadow isn’t ideal for anyone. You can dive into the platitudes if you’d like and find a quote here or there about role models and looking up to a two-time MVP, but the fact remains that Seth has been looked at as “the other Curry” for quite a while.
Portland won’t be the place he breaks into the starting lineup unless something drastic happens to the incumbent starters, but he’ll have a real shot at creating a name for himself the same way Shabazz Napier started to a year ago.
What To Expect In 2018-19
Curry’s going to be thrown into the rotation right away in Portland. Assuming he’s healthy, he’ll be the backup point guard following Olshey’s decision to let Napier walk this offseason.
That’s huge for Portland. Curry should be an immediate upgrade in the backcup role as he’s a better two-way player than Napier. In his last meaningful season, the guard was No. 1 on the Dallas Mavericks in offensive win shares ahead of No. 2 Dwight Powell and No. 3 Harrison Barnes. On defense, Curry was top-five and ended that year with the top overall VORP (Value Above Replacement Player) of anyone on the roster.
No, the Mavs weren’t world-beaters in 2016-17, and yes, Curry has been known to get burned here and there in isolation sets. But effort on both ends goes a long way when you’re trying to prove you’re a contender, and his quick hands and ability to get to spots before his opponent will be on full display.
As far as playing with Lillard and McCollum goes, there will undoubtedly be times when he feels redundant. That’s going to happen when your general manager has a severe case of backcourt hubris and not only refuses to break up your offense-first, undersized backcourt but also tries to duplicate it throughout the rotation. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be beneficial to other role players who are used to playing off the star guards.
If Curry can be an efficient shooter and hard-working defender, he’ll earn his place in Rip City right away. And if Portland can put its own name on the map by winning games against legitimate championship hopefuls, the league won’t just be talking about Seth as a nice story.
They’ll recognize him as his own player making his own impact on his own contender. That’s all any player wants, regardless of their last name.
Check out the other players in our Portland Trail Blazers Player Preview Series: