Anthony Randolph

Don’t expect a full season from Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry’s got it all: the pedigree, the looks, respect from coaches and media members, a starring role on a Warriors team that will let him do whatever he wants, the ability to write “Member: Team USA” on his resume, and recently, the No. 7 spot on Matt Buser’s fantasy basketball Big(ger) Board.

That’s right, No. 7. In the NBA. Ahead of Kobe Bryant (8), Amare Stoudemire (11) and Carmelo Anthony (18). And fantasy-wise, it’s not hard to see why. He’s capable of achieving the magical 50%/40%/90% milestone (although 50% from the field may be a bit much to ask). He’ll have the ball in his hands. A lot. He’ll collect plenty of assists, steals and will play as many minutes as his body can stand.

And … there’s the potential problem. Unless Curry is tougher than his baby face and slender frame would suggest, he’s going to have a tough time getting through the 2010/11 campaign unscathed. And if Don Nelson is allowed to coach again, it’s almost certain not to happen.

Stephen Curry averaged about 39 mpg over the last four months of his rookie year, and to be fair it didn’t seem to affect him much. He missed a couple games due to a sprained left ankle, the same ankle he sprained while practicing with Team USA recently. Neither time did the ankle injury really sideline him too long (two games last season, and a practice or two with Team USA), but something tells me this is going to continue to be an issue.

The Warriors didn’t make the playoffs, but 80 regular season games, followed by a busy summer practicing and playing internationally; it’s amazing that there were people out there who hoped Curry would play on the Warriors’ summer league team as well. Hey Steph, while you’re at it why didn’t you come back to the Bay for a week and play in the Kezar Pro-Am with Matt Barnes? Slacker.

If Nellie stays on board, keeping Curry fresh will be the furthest thing from his mind (it would also be the furthest thing from his mind if he wasn’t the coach next season, but whatever). Remember when Monta came back from missing 2 games with an ankle sprain last season, and Nellie played him more than 42 minutes in his first game back (a 123-110 loss to New Orleans)? Nellie doesn’t care, and he won’t start conserving his best players just because he has the record.

Under Nelson, Curry will surely average more than 40 mpg, which is great for fantasy owners and Curry fans when he’s healthy, but not so great for fantasy owners who’ll have to replace him with another PG when/if he gets injured this season, or a Warriors squad that will surely build at least 75% of their marketing campaign around him.

It’s just another reason to send the all-time coaching wins leader back to Maui. Feel free to toss this reason on top of the pile of reasons over there in the corner, next to the Anthony Randolph jerseys.

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