Stephen Curry is coming off of a breakout season for the Warriors, one in which he averaged career-bests in points, assists, and minutes played.
But Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is a master motivator, and he wants Curry to continue to improve. So he provided him with a little project.
The challenge he posed to his star player for the upcoming season: Do a better job of taking care of the basketball, i.e., cut down on the turnovers.
Mark Jackson: My only thing with Steph, and he knows it, is that he has to do a better job taking care of the basketball. I asked him before camp started, what’s the biggest thing for him in camp? And he said ‘taking care of the basketball.’ And I said, no. And he looked at me like I was crazy. And I said, no — coming out of camp healthy. That’s the biggest thing. So I don’t want to put any demands on his body, or doing crazy stuff in the middle of practice, trying to split two guys and spin. Take care of the basketball, continually get better, and stay healthy.
Curry’s been steady at 3.1 turnovers per game throughout his career, though that number dipped the season before last in a limited sample size due to Curry appearing in just 26 games due to injury.
His turnover ratio isn’t horrible at 10.5, but it’s middle of the pack when you look at the league as a whole, and it’s on par with big men like Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin, and Zach Randolph — players who get swarmed by defenders inside while trying to finish in traffic.
Considering how much Curry has the ball in his hands, Jackson is right to focus on this relatively small area of concern. And it won’t be difficult for Curry to show marked improvement quickly if he’s truly focused on it.