Has Seth Curry Been Better Than Stephen Curry Since the All-Star Break?
It always seems like people expect brothers to have an innate drive to outdo one another in every aspect of life. But, speaking for me and my own brother, I know that isn't really the case.
You root for one another. You hope that the other is better at something you could've been better at. Sure, there's healthy competition on the hardwood or at the poker table, but it's done in the spirit of brotherhood.
I'm sure the same applies to Stephen Curry and his younger (and lesser-known) brother Seth Curry. In a perfect universe, they would probably want their respective teams to meet in the NBA Finals every year. They want each other to succeed, except when facing off against one another. Although, I think we can confidently say that Steph is more comfortable with it than Seth.
The 28-year-old Steph has an NBA title, two MVP awards, and four All-Star appearances.
Seth has had a more adventurous career. In four years, he's been waived three times and has played for a total of five teams. At season's end, he will have made just $3.99 million in his career, compared to $56.7 million for older brother Steph.
That's just money. Bragging rights mean much more at family barbecues, but even at that Seth doesn't have much to throw at his big brother.
According to Basketball Reference, in five head-to-head matchups, Steph's Golden State Warriors have taken all five, and he's put up 23.6 points per contest on 52.9% from the floor and 51.1% from three. He's attached 7.6 assists and 6.2 rebounds in an average of 31.8 minutes as well.
Seth, on the other hand, has tallied just 7.4 points (on 34.3% shooting) and 4.0 assists in 19.6 minutes a showdown. Yet, as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, Curry -- across 30.5 minutes -- has averaged 19 points on 54.2% shooting and 50% from deep.
Finally in a stable situation, Seth has certainly taken the next step as an NBA player. Notwithstanding, Steph has gotten the best of him, well, because he is the better player, without question. Has that been the case lately?
Prior to the All-Star break, the 26-year-old, on average, produced 11.7 points and 1.8 threes while shooting 46.7% overall and 41.4% from three-point land. According to NBA.com, that's a true shooting percentage of 57.9% in 28.2 minutes a game.
Since the All-Star break, Curry's been a new man. His points per game output has swelled to 22.6 points, including 3.4 three-point makes in 34.7 minutes. While connecting on 53.3% of his attempts from long range, Curry has improved his true shooting to 72.2% in seven games. Shooting, however, is just the start of it.
|Seth Curry||Usage Rate||Pace||Defensive Rating||Net Rating|
With the Mavs' former starting point man, Deron Williams, now in Cleveland, Curry has taken on more offensive responsibility, and for that reason, his usage has took a decent jump. Naturally, shifting from a 32-year-old Williams to a younger Curry has led to an increase in pace with Curry on the floor and running the show.
We know about the offense. Curry's defensive impact has not been as apparent, but his numbers say it all. His offensive rating has improved ever so slightly -- from 105.2 to 106.6 points per 100 possessions -- and his defensive rating has gone from roughly top 75 to top 20 in the league, resulting in a vastly refined net rating.
That has meant a lot for the Mavericks as a team. Curry's hot game has run parallel to Dallas' 5-2 record since the All-Star break. With wins over the Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, and Oklahoma City Thunder, they're currently tied for fourth in second-half win percentage (.714) and stand sixth in net rating (5.1).
Seth's Mavericks rank ahead of Steph's Warriors in win percentage, but that could be due to the fact that Golden State has played one more game and, therefore, tallied one more loss. When we more accurately compare the two squads, we can see that the Warriors, with a net rating of 5.7, situate themselves just ahead of the Mavericks. For their standards (12.6 pre All-Star break), though, the Warriors are underperforming.
The same can be said for their star point guard. Curry, in eight games, is still producing 25.9 points, 3.5 threes, 5.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds in 34.8 minutes per contest, but his efficiency has dropped off.
|Stephen Curry||True Shooting%||Offensive Rating||Net Rating|
In a somewhat similar way to Seth's new role absent Williams, Steph, with Kevin Durant sidelined for basically five of the Warriors' last eight, has been forced to return to his old role as the team's unquestioned go-to guy.
A heightened usage rate (31.3%) and 3.2 extra field goal attempts have been the result. It's clear that Curry felt the need to get up more shots, including 11 per game from three.
Curry's three-point percentage is a very human 31.8% since the break, so we can see why his true shooting percentage, offensive rating, and net rating have all recently taken hits.
We can say that more volume will do that to a guy, but this is Steph we're talking about. This is the same player who, just a year ago on 20.2 field goal attempts per game, accumulated a 66.9% true shooting percentage and a net rating of 22.
Steph Still Wins
Whether our expectations are unreasonably high or Steph's just in a funk, he's not the same player he was last year or to start this one. Even if we believe that, there's no denying that big brother has still been the better player in recent games.
Seth's game has improved, and his shooting has been superior to Steph's, but net rating and overall production tells us that Steph is still nearly twice as valuable as his little brother. After all, you don't just go to bed a two-time MVP and wake up as the second-best player in your family.