Sweet Shooting Runs in Stephen Curry's NBA Family

Dave Leonardis@@FrontPageDaveContributor IIIMay 5, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 02:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after defeating the Denver Nuggets during Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 2, 2013 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is living proof that good genes and an even better shooting touch can make you an NBA star. 

Steph Curry is the son of former journeyman three-point specialist Dell Curry. He also has a little brother, Seth, who just finished a four-year college run (three years at Duke, one at Liberty). The youngest Curry is currently ranked No. 76 on DraftExpress.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

From a style standpoint, Steph is very similar to his father. However, if his performance against Denver in this year's first round is any indication, Steph seems destined to reach a level of stardom that his father couldn't get to.

The Utah Jazz selected Dell Curry with the No. 15 overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. He played for 16 seasons with five different teams. His most notable success came as a member of the then-Charlotte Hornets, whom he played for from 1988 to 1998. 

The former Virginia Tech star won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in the 1993-94 season. He also led the league in three-point percentage while with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1998-99 season. That year, he shot 47.6 percent from behind the arc.

Dell was a lifetime 40.2 percent shooter from long range and averaged 11.7 points per game for his career. He was mainly utilized as a role player off the bench, as he made just 99 starts in 16 seasons. 

His son Steph parlayed a three-year career at Davidson into becoming the No. 7 overall pick in 2009 by the Golden State Warriors. He made the All-Rookie First Team in his debut season and has become the catalyst of an emerging Warriors team.

In just four seasons, Steph has already made more than twice as many NBA starts as his father (252 to 99) despite ankle injuries hindering his young career. Steph has also converted more than half as many threes as his father (644 to 1,245) and has shot 44.6 percent from deep for his career. 

To get a better comparison of the two sharpshooting Currys, we will take a look at some of the best hot streaks in their careers. Let's start with the elder Curry first.

In the final game of his NBA career, Dell (then a member of the Toronto Raptors) put on a show in the fourth quarter to leave a nice lasting impression of his tenure as a pro. On May 2, 2002, Dell scored 14 points in the final frame of Game 5 of a first-round matchup against the Detroit Pistons.

In this video, Dell's skills are on full display. The key to Dell's success as a shooter is his quick release. The ball doesn't stay in his hands long before he lets it fly. That kind of quick trigger means defenders have to be on Curry immediately if they have any hope of getting a hand in his face.

At the 30-second mark, Dell uses a nice pump fake to buy himself some extra time to get off a good shot. Even when defenders can close on Curry, he's crafty enough to take advantage of their anxiousness by using a little hesitation to find a better shot.

When he lets it go, his shot is really a thing of beauty. All of his shots have a nice high arc on them, and he snaps his wrist on the follow-through effortlessly.

It is no wonder that Dell's sons have developed into great shooters. They spent their lives learning from a textbook marksman. This performance against Detroit was an example of a good shooter getting hot at the right moment.

Speaking of a good shooter getting hot, one of the most impressive offensive displays in the Curry family's history came on Feb. 27 of this year. In front of a hostile crowd at Madison Square Garden, Steph Curry unloaded on the Knicks to the tune of a career-high 54 points.

Curry finished the game going 18-of-28 from the field, including 11-of-13 from behind the arc. He added six rebounds, seven assists and three steals for good measure. Somehow, the Warriors still managed to lose by four points.

In the highlight reel from that fateful night, you will see how following in his father's footsteps paid off for Steph Curry. Ten seconds into the clip, Steph shows off a shooting touch that is eerily similar to his dad's.

As soon as Steph gets the ball, he knows exactly where he wants to go on the floor and unleashes that famous quick release. Much like his father, Steph's ability to get the ball out of his hands immediately makes it tough for defenders to hinder his shot.

At the 24-second mark, Steph also uses the quick head fake that his father utilized in the clip against Detroit. The main difference here is that, rather than take a few steps forward to get a better shot, Steph charges to the basket for the easy layup.

That's the biggest example of how Steph has evolved from his father. While Dell excelled at catching and shooting as well as finding ways to get a good look with his jumper, Steph's offensive ability has more versatility.

When he gets the defender off his feet, he can attack the basket. He can also nail jumpers from mid-range (53.4 percent from 10-15 feet this season).

When it comes to shooting from deep, Curry can stroke it in a variety of ways.

Like his father, Steph excels at the catch-and-shoot (as seen at the 38-second mark). He can spot up and drain a shot in a defender's face (like he does to Pablo Prigioni 45 seconds into the video). He can also stop on a dime on a fast break and hit a jumper in transition (which is evident at the 55-second mark).

Steph is also a better ball-handler than his father. At 1:38, he takes Iman Shumpert off the dribble and gets to the basket before missing the chance at an and-1.

The lethal ability to shoot it from anywhere is a testament to his father, but Steph's athleticism and ability to get to the basket off the dribble are elements Dell never had at his disposal.

While Steph never topped his career night at the Garden, he would put on a few more shows this season. He scored 39 points against Portland on March 30, converting 14 of 22 shots (7-of-12 from three). He dropped 47 points on the Lakers on April 12, nailing 17 of his 31 attempts (9-of-15 from behind the arc).

In an epic six-game series with the Denver Nuggets, Curry notched at least 30 points twice and averaged 24.3 points per game. He shot 46.8 percent from the field and 43.4 percent from deep. He is the biggest X-factor in the Warriors' upcoming playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs.

It is hard to watch Steph Curry play and not reminisce about Dell. Everything from the shooting form to the craftiness to his thin build showcases similarities between son and father. Steph has taken the talent of his famous father and stepped it up to another level.

While Dell was an excellent role player for many years, Steph is on the verge of becoming a household name. With more performances like his big night in New York, he will quickly elevate into superstardom.

In a postseason where most of the elite point guards headed home early, Steph Curry still remains to add to his blossoming resume. In four short years, he has taken the soul of an NBA journeyman and molded into the mark of a superstar.


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