Kurt Helin

USA Basketball Men's National Team Training Camp

Curry working on dribbling, shooting this summer


Most players go into the offseason and pick out a weakness of theirs to focus on and improve. Or maybe they work on a specific shot or skill they want to add to the repertoire. Blake Griffin worked on his jumper last summer (and this one), for example.

Well, it’s good to be the king — Stephen Curry is the reigning MVP and best players on the NBA champs, so he can do what he wants and people will say it is smart. This summer Curry went another direction — he focused on his ball handling and shooting. Which are already at the top of the league.

Curry was making the rounds promoting NBA 2K16 Monday in New York (he’s on the cover, it comes out Friday) and talked about what he needed to do to improve. From the Associated Press:

Curry said the focus of his offseason workouts was on getting stronger and faster to prevent injury, as well as the shooting and dribbling that are already at or near the top of the league.

“It’s not like I’ll go in and try to implement a post game, work on a hook shot or things like that,” Curry said. “I’ve just got to be able to take what I do well and make it even better.”

The important part is working on his physical strength — he can expect teams to try to be more physical with him this season. Defenders can’t do much out on the perimeter without drawing a whistle, but given the chance to body him (or worse) on a drive they are going to take it. Staying healthy is the first key to the Warriors repeating.

Curry is 27 and at the peak of his skills — and he knows who he is and is not. He’s not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James, where it made sense to add a post game to the skill set. I’m not sure Curry is strong enough to post up Nate Robinson. So making sure he can still create that little separation then drain the shot (or make the pass) makes sense.

He needs just to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s the king right now.

Colbert vs. Curry shooting dirty socks into hamper

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Stephen Curry was on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night, pimping NBA 2K16 (it’s out on Friday) and while there got drawn into a contest we can all relate to:

Shooting dirty socks at a hamper across the room.

When it gets tight Stephen is clutch. Both of them.

Korver cleared for Hawks camp; Sefolosha improving

Thabo Sefolosha
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Kyle Korver and Thabo Sefolosha are going to be key for Atlanta this season.

Korver for the obvious reasons — they need his shooting, his work on the weak side of the offense to keep opposing defenses honest. The guy was an All-Star for a reason. Sefolosha matters because he is going to step into a lot of DeMarre Carroll‘s role.

So it’s good news that both are healthy and doing some basketball activities, as reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I would say, to differing degrees, they are doing basketball activities now,” (Hawks’ coach Mike) Budenholzer said Monday. “Whether it’s some 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 between now and camp there is the potential for some 5-on-5 in a limited kind of way. But shooting, working out and doing those types of things, they are making good progress….”

Even with the players cleared for basketball activities, Budenholzer expects to bring them along slowly at the start of training camp and the preseason.

Korver had elbow surgery over the summer but was expected to be ready for training camp.

Sefolosha suffered a broken right fibula that required surgery after a run-in with the NYPD near the end of last season (that case has its next hearing date Oct. 5). It was up for debate whether he would be able to go at the start of the season, and even if fully cleared by doctors you can expect Budenholzer to ease him back in.

All of which is not going to help a Hawks team that would like to repeat the fast start it got off to last season.

NBA impersonator takes on pass-first Rajon Rondo

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two

Brandon Armstrong has become a viral superstar in NBA circles because his imitations of NBA players are just damn funny.

But few made me laugh as hard as this one of point guards who do not pass, such as new Sacramento Kings’ point guard Rajon Rondo (it’s not an official Rondo imitation, although it feels like it should be).

This isn’t totally fair, Rondo has been working on his shot this offseason, we have video proof of that, too.

A video posted by Rajon Rondo (@rajonrondo) on

Anthony Davis hasn’t made crazy purchases, except…

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For a wealthy — and thanks to his new contract extension, starting next season VERY wealthy — young man, Anthony Davis has lived a relatively frugal life. He’s not extravagant and flashy, not a lot of jewelry or ostentatious suits. No wild spending for him.

Well, except TNT’s Ernie Johnson called him on one thing at the NBA 2K16 launch event in New York Monday.

Yes, it’s true. Apparently Davis is channeling his inner Ross from the early episodes of “Friends” — he’s got a monkey.