OAKLAND -- When the Warriors broke up the StephenCurry-Monta Ellis backcourt, it came after years of debate, discussion and alot of disagreement.In short, there were legitimate questions about theircompatibility. And last March the Warriors came to the conclusion that aCurry-Ellis backcourt wouldnt work and traded Ellis to Milwaukee in a deal forAndrew Bogut.The Warriors did that for two reasons: They needed a centerand they believed Klay Thompson could be the shooting guard of the future andthe long-term backcourt partner of Curry.So, heres the question, and maybe youll think itspremature. Are Curry and Thompson really compatible? Do they complement eachother, do they make each other better and are they more of a solution goingforward than problem?Though Curry and Thompson have played just eight gamestogether, some troubling signs are emerging. Its not just that both playersare off to bad starts. Its that a closer look at their games raises somequestions. Here are a few of them: Thompson is a terrific shooter,particularly from 3-point range. Its the strength of his game, and hes athreat from anywhere on the perimeter.But is that the kind of two guard you want playing withCurry, who isnt a penetrator, isnt really a slasher and doesnt kick-out fromthe lane very often?Its fair to wonder whether Thompson can thrive in such asituation with that kind of point guard. Warriors coach Mark Jackson can talkall he wants about the defense of Curry and Thompson, and how both have improved.But theyre still not a good defensive backcourt.Curry doesnt have the lateral quickness of some pointguards and doesnt have the strength of others. Thompson certainly has size forhis position, but hes also got to get tougher and stronger.Can both grow in this area? Of course they can. Butout-defending another teams backcourt on a consistent basis doesnt seem likeits in the cards for them. Neither player is an above-averageathlete for his position, and this manifests itself in a lack of easy buckets.There were certainly aspects of Ellis game to criticize, but the ability toget to the rim certainly wasnt one of them.In the open court, Ellis was fantastic and even in thehalfcourt he would find ways to get into the lane and finish. He had theability to get there with quickness, by contorting and sometimes simply byelevating. You could make the case that Curryand Thompson have games that are too similar. The No. 1 strength of each playeris outside shooting. Thats good, on the one hand, but it also means that theremay be nights when neither shoots the ball particularly well.That seems to be whats happening now, with Curry shooting37 percent from the field and Thompson 36 percent. Having a perimeter-shootingbackcourt also means that youre not going to get to the foul lineconsistently, let alone in abundance.In some ways, you have two players who excel at coming offscreens, but yet neither is overly adept at finding each other coming offscreens.There has been a lot of debate as to whether Curry is apoint guard or not and whether thats his best position. Thats irrelevant,though, because the Warriors have made it clear they believe he is. That 44million contract will tell you that.The real question moving forward is whether theCurry-Thompson backcourt can thrive together or whether it might have some ofthe same issues that a Curry-Ellis backcourt had.
Stephen Curry passed a familiar face on Sunday in Orlando.
With his 3-pointer at the 6:54 mark in the third quarter against the Magic, Curry moved past former Kings star Peja Stojakovic on the all-time 3-point list.
Curry entered the game trailing Stojakovic by four (1,756 to 1,760). He finished the game with seven made 3-pointers and now sits alone in 13th place all-time with 1,763.
Next on the all-time list is Rashard Lewis with 1,787.
“Records are meant to be broken,” Stojakovic told CSNCalifornia.com last week. “Steph is definitely a guy, that if he continues to shoot - him and Klay (Thompson), if they continue to stay on the same pace, they can climb all the way to one and two.”
When Stojakovic retired after the 2010-11 season, he ranked fourth all-time in made 3-pointers. Since than, he's been passed by Jason Terry, Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Jamal Crawford, Kyle Korver, Joe Johnson, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Lewis and now Curry.
All-time made 3-pointers list:
1. Ray Allen 2973
2. Reggie Miller 2560
3. Jason Terry 2199*
4. Paul Pierce 2137*
5. Vince Carter 1996*
6. Jason Kidd 1988
7. Jamal Crawford 1983*
8. Kyle Korver 1964*
9. Joe Johnson 1882*
10. Chauncey Billups 1830
11. Kobe Bryant 1827
12. Rashard Lewis 1787
13. Stephen Curry 1763*
14. Peja Stojakovic 1760
(*) denotes active player
After an understandably drowsy first half, the Warriors snapped awake after intermission Sunday and raced off with a 118-98 win over the Orlando Magic.
It was the seventh consecutive win for the Warriors, who lifted their record to an NBA-best 38-6.
Clearly affected by the noon tipoff (9 a.m. Pacific) at Amway Center, the Warriors committed 12 turnovers in the first half before settling in and totaling seven giveaways in the second.
Six Warriors scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry pouring in 27 points in three quarters to lead the way. Klay Thompson finished with 21 points, Kevin Durant 15 and Zaza Pachulia 15. JaVale McGee added 12 and Pat McCaw put in 10.
Orlando (18-28) lost for the ninth time in 11 games. Guard Elfrid Payton was the Magic’s leading scorer, with 23 points.
Nearly all of the Warriors eventually woke up, but none did so with the energy and enthrallment of Curry.
Curry’s line: 27 points (8-of-15 from the field, including 7-of-13 from deep, 4-of-4 from the line), six assists and three rebounds. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-32 for the game.
With his seven 3-pointers, Curry (1,763) passed Peja Stojakovic (1,760) to move into 13th place on the all-time list. Next up is Rashard Lewis (1,787).
Trailing 55-50 with 10:30 left in the third quarter, the Warriors perked up and roared back with a 19-2 run punctuated by a Curry 3-point bomb to go up 69-57 with 6:54 left in the quarter.
The Warriors outscored the Magic 42-24 in the quarter, taking a 92-74 lead. Orlando got no closer than 18 in the fourth.
Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (rest) was a healthy inactive. F/C David West (L thumb fracture) was listed as out.
Magic: G Evan Fournier (R foot soreness) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out. G Jodie Meeks (R thumb sprain) and G C. J. Wilcox (L Achilles tendinitis) were listed as out.
The Warriors go back to work Monday, when they face the Heat at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.