Curry isn’t as special when it comes to the defensive side of the ball. He is fast enough to stay in front of his man, but he doesn’t have the length to really lock someone down. This was obvious against the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals.
As much as Curry was hurting the Spurs, Tony Parker was doing the same to the Warriors. Mark Jackson was forced to put Klay Thompson on Parker and Curry on Danny Green, a spot-up shooter. That worked decently, but Curry was too small to easily fight through the screens set to get Green open.
Curry will never be a player to shut an opponent down – especially with so many talented point guards in the league. But there is nothing stopping him from working to improve each year. This past year, Curry’s man had an average PER of 16.7. There is definitely room for improvement there.
When Curry was on the floor, the Warriors had a Defensive Rating of 104.5. With him on the bench, the team had a Defensive Rating of 100.2. That is a marked improvement, but it doesn’t take Curry’s offensive production into account.
Curry averaged 1.6 steals per game this season, which isn’t bad, but also isn’t impressive. I was surprised to see that Curry’s effort of four rebounds per game (3.3 defensive) was good enough for sixth among point guards.
Even with his defensive woes, Curry improves the team when he is on the court. But if I focus on defense only, my grade for Curry is barely passing.