Golden State Warriors: 4 goals for Stephen Curry this upcoming season

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 08: Stephen Curry /
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Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry (R) of the Golden State Warriors attempts to steal the ball from LeBron James (L) of the Cleveland Cavaliers during overtime in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals in Oakland, California on June 4, 2015. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 108-100 in overtime. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images) /

Lead the league in steals

Steals aren’t the end-all, be-all of defense. They don’t always tell the whole story. Nonetheless, they’re a pretty good way to get more possessions for your team and limit your opponent’s scoring opportunities.

Stephen Curry averages a solid 1.8 steals per game for his career. He’s led the league once in that category. He should strive to do it again.

There’s an inaccurate narrative that follows Curry. There’s a, very loud, group of uninformed fans that think he can’t play defense. The eye test and the metrics support Curry’s status as a solid defender, but that’s not accepted. Apparently, his biceps aren’t big enough and his scowls aren’t angry enough to earn a better reputation on that side of the floor.

Like I said, steals aren’t everything. But Curry is a solid defender for two reasons: his effort level and his active hands. Steals are just one of the few ways to quantify that.

Curry has great timing in the passing lanes. He intercepts passes like a safety, waiting patiently and breaking after reading the passer. Though he’s not Tony Allen in one-on-one situations, he has quick hands that can pick the ball away if a defender gets a little loose with his handle.

Getting more steals will help quantify his defense, in a sense. It will also lead to more offensive opportunities. He’s great in transition, whether it’s finishing at the rim or stopping on a dime and pulling up for a rhythm three-pointer.

Curry needs to continue to push himself defensively and needs to strive to make offense as easy as possible. Steals will do that for him.