Stephen Curry practiced with an ankle hugged by what looked like Samsonite suitcase scraps. He was mobile and fluid in shooting drills. There’s no commitment to a Friday start, but that’s what my non-existent money would be on. Since Curry hasn’t played in two games, questions were ankle-centric:
ESS: You have the brace right now, do you plan on playing with that in the future?
Stephen Curry: I hope to take it off because it’s kind of limiting–a little bit–for where my ankle is right now. I definitely think it’s a necessity to make sure nothing happens to it while I’m rehabbing to get it back to full strength. So you won’t see it till December.
ESS: Have you been playing with any tape on it?
Stephen Curry: A little bit, there’s nothing I need, other than this brace–sort of like a Robocop thing. So, if I roll my ankle in this, I’m breaking my whole leg.
ESS: Have you ever seen any of that tape the Celtics wear, that Kinesio tape–the stuff on KG’s leg?
Stephen Curry: Oh ya, I got that on, I wear that when I go home. That’s the last thing I put on before I leave the training room. Breaks up the fluid that’s in my ankle so, I don’t wear it when I play though.
ESS: Why not?
Stephen Curry: Our philosophy here is not to wear it while we play.
ESS: Do you resent the insinuation that Eric Gordon may have crossed you up?
Stephen Curry: (Laughs) Nah man, it happens to everybody. But–upon further review of the video–I did clip… Blake Griffin’s foot…just enough to throw me off balance. And then my weak ankle took over.
I should add that Curry’s speech became jokingly stilted in response to this question–as though he was imitating a defensive politician.
When I spoke with Dorell Wright about the wonder of pump fakes and shooting efficiency, he beamed. I had nothing to do with it–he’s probably just like that upon shoving Anthony Morrow’s soul into his 6-8 frame. Wright’s clearly confident coming off his recent performances, regression to the mean be damned. I don’t expect this level of productivity to stretch into the horizon, but he seems to loving the good life, while it lingers.
ESS: I was looking at your shot-data, and so far 93% of your shots have been assisted. So you’re shooting off the catch quite a bit. Do you think you shoot better off the catch, or better off the dribble?
Dorell Wright: I think I shoot better off the catch because the system I’ve been playing in for the past six years was all spot ups, that’s second nature to me. When Steph or Monta are penetrating or when Andris and D-Lee are getting double teamed and they’re in trouble, I just spot-up, get into an open spot behind the defense when they’re not watching me.
ESS: I’ve noticed that you’ve been pulling up in transition. Is that a big part of your game now?
Dorell Wright: Ya, I’ve worked on that A LOT this Summer. Just coming up on the wings, and in transition, stop and pop.
ESS: So, in the game coming up with the Jazz, Al Jefferson is a great one-on-one scorer. But he’s not the best passer. Do you see yourself blitzing him as a second defender and trapping him?
Dorell Wright: Ya, we’re going to throw a lot of different schemes at him because we know how effective he can be. Not too many big guys can pass the ball well out of the double team. We got quick guys who run the passing lanes, get easy baskets out of transition if we can go down there, and bother him.
ESS: You’re going to be matched up against Andris Kirilenko a lot. You use the pump-fake quite a bit, do you see yourself using that more as a tool because he’s a shot-blocker?
Dorell Wright: I’ma’ use it against anybody! I don’t care if it’s a point guard, I’ma use it (laughing)…because most guys go for it, they don’t realize if I raise up on them, they won’t be able to block my shot because I’m 6-8. It looks like I’m going to shoot the ball every single time because I go hard and put so much into it. And with me making shots now, guys are really going to have to respect it. So you’ll see a lot of pump fakes.
ESS: You got the Rashard Lewis thing working.
Dorell Wright: Oh for sure. I got (shot-faking) from my little brother a long time ago. He was always smaller than everybody. So that’s where I got it from.
ESS: Do you see yourself doing a lot more, Kevin Martin-esque pump fakes that lead to fouls?
Dorell Wright: I’ma’ get a lot of those. Last year I got a lot, I paid a lot of attention to Dwyane Wade. He’s a master of driving somewhere hard, a big guy, little guy switches on him…get that contact on the way up.