Seth Curry, the starting shooting guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, is 6’2” and 31 years old. He’s currently averaging the most minutes per game of his career, the most shot attempts per game of his career, the most 3-point attempts of his career, the most free throw attempts per game of his career, the most points per game of his career, and the most rebounds per game of his career. Seth’s having a career year through the first two weeks of the season. Can he keep this up?
He’s ranked #66 on the ESPN Player Rater, and younger Curry is 57% rostered. I’m writing this prior to my CHALLENGE GAME of the week, brought to you by the Long 2 podcast. Each week Brandon and I challenge each other to watch a game from the upcoming schedule. This week Brandon challenged me to watch the 6-1 Bulls (Go Pistons) play at the 5-2 Sixers (Go Pistons). This could be a good game, so I wanted to look at some numbers before watching. Curry’s stats jumped out to me like one of his catch-and-shoot threes (which he’s sinking at a 60% rate, by the way).
Since the dawn of time (read: since drafting Joel Embiid) the 76ers have wanted to surround their franchise player with shooters. At least, they’ve publicly stated that they’d like to do so. Curry seems to finally be the perimeter player that was promised, because in his second season in Philly, Curry’s shooting the ball more efficiently than anyone else in the NBA.
Out of all the players who average at least 10 field goal attempts per game, Seth Curry has the best True Shooting percentage by a country mile: 75.8 TS% to Kemba Walker’s second-best 68.3 TS%. Curry averages 5.3 3PA per game and sinks them at a 54 3PT%. Compare that to Trae Young who also averages 5.3 3PA/game but has a 27 3PT%; Ricky Rubio, 36 3PT% on 5.3 3PA/game; Spencer Dinwiddie, 37.5 3PT% on 5.3 3PA/game; and, Jerami Grant, 31 3PT% on 5.3 3PA/game. All those other guys do more things for their teams than Seth Curry does...most of them are lead guards who bring the ball up and initiate offense, while my boyfriend Jerami is Detroit’s focal point on offense. Also, all those guys’ numbers will go up and down during the season, so I’m not sweating Ice Trae’s suboptimal ratios. The point for Curry is that he’s taking this many threes while also sinking them. He’s shooting from the perimeter, he’s doing his job. And, so far, it doesn’t seem like it’s smoke and mirrors.
Curry is hitting his catch and shoot threes at a ridiculous 60 FG%, but he’s also hitting his pull up shots at a 41+ FG%. His midrange and 2-point FG% are also fantastic. He’s 9th in plus-minus for players who average 5+ 3PA per game, he’s second in minutes per game on the Sixers, and he’s fourth in FGA/game on the Sixers. They’re featuring Curry without really featuring him. He’s a constant sniper just waiting for his shot.
There are 44 players who currently average 5+ 3PA/game, 16+ PPG, 3+ RPG, and 1+ assist per game. Seth Curry is on that list, and he has the LOWEST shot attempts per game out of all of them. Seth takes 10+ shots per game; the next lowest is Cam Reddish, who takes 12+. Curry has room for more.
Curry also led the Sixers to a victory over the Trail Blazers when both Embiid and Tobias Harris (Go Pistons!) were out, as was Ben Simmons, lest we forget. Seth beat Damian Lillard’s Blazers without the Sixers’ top two scorers. THAT seems real to me.
I don’t think Seth’s sky-high numbers will continue to be stratospheric, but I do think his efficiency will remain elite. He’s a perfect complement to Toby & Embiid, he seems to be comfortable in his role in his sophomore season in Philly, and he’s delivering when given more opportunities and a larger burden.
I’ll be looking into trade scenarios for Seth, as I think he’s probably under-rostered by quite a bit, and I suggest you do the same. As things stand now Seth Curry is a top 75 player who’s rostered less than Eric Bledsoe, Kyle Kuzma, and Kristaps Porzingis—and he’s only slightly more rostered than Robert Bob Covington, who’s averaging five points per game. Not that I don’t love Rob Bob, but get real: Seth’s playing at an elite level right now and his role is assured. If Curry keeps playing this well, Philly will have to give him more shots.
All arrows are pointing upwards for the sniper on the Sixers. We should pay attention. I know I will during this Bulls-76ers game. (...Go Pistons.)