Steinmetz: Smart's strong words for Warriors' Curry

Steinmetz: Smart's strong words for Warriors' Curry
January 26, 2011, 10:17 pm
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OAKLAND -- For seemingly the umpteenth time this season, Warriors coach Keith Smart was asked Wednesday after shootaround about the Stephen Curry-Monta Ellis backcourt.

Thats been a hot topic lately, mostly spurred by owner Joe Lacob, who said recently that nobody on the Warriors is untouchable.

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Smart is always diplomatic when talking about Curry and Ellis, making sure to talk of the positives and negatives of both players.

But on Wednesday, Smart seemed to make it clear that he hasnt been crazy with the Currys first half of the season -- and that he hasnt stepped up in Year 2.

Steph I dont know what it is, Smart said, when asked about how the backcourt is evolving. Maybe hes just a late starter. Maybe he just takes 40 games off and then decides to turn it on. We saw this a little bit last year with him.

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Smart was referring to Currys slow start at the beginning of last season, his first in the NBA. Smart acknowledged Curry is playing better of late and that some of this seasons struggles likely have been because hes still figuring out all the nuances of becoming a point guard.

I think trying to run the team and doing the things we wanted him to, getting everybody involved, not really looking for his shot -- now I think hes being a bit more aggressive, Smart said. And I think the team wants him to do that and he needs to do that for us.

I think thats happening. Hes still playing even if you look at the numbers from last year, and I just think hes really tried to focus on being that point guard, and running the team and getting guys the ball.

Even the turnovers he was having it was based on trying to make a play for a teammate. Now hes being more aggressive for himself and that will open up things for him, open up lanes for him.

But he and Monta Monta, of course, has been playing at his normal pace and Steph is now moving up. Steph and David are now playing very well. So, thats three guys who are playing well. Weve got to get a couple more guys playing at a high level like those guys."

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