Carlisle didn't allude to any specific injury that Curry might have been dealing with, so it appears he was just being given a rest. The absences of Curry and Wesley Matthews (hip) opened up more time at shooting guard for J.J. Barea, who started in the contest, Devin Harris, Justin Anderson and C.J. Williams. Matthews is slated to open the regular season as the starting shooting guard, but Curry could be in line for a decent-sized role as one of the first guards off the bench.
Curry scored 20 points (7-13 FG, 5-6 3Pt, 1-1 FT) in 22 minutes off the bench Monday against Charlotte.
After scoring 12 points in 18 minutes in Saturday's preseason opener, Curry followed up with an even more impressive showing Monday, knocking down five threes as the Mavericks held on for a 95-88 win. Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews will comprise the Mavs' starting backcourt to begin the season, but coach Rick Carlisle said recently that Curry will be "a factor" off the bench, and his upside is arguably higher than that of either Devin Harris or J.J. Barea at this point in their respective careers.
During Wednesday's scrimmage, Curry led all players with 15 points, flashing the shooting skills that seem to be a family birthright. While he lacks the world-class handle and limitless shooting range of his older brother, the younger Curry turned himself into an NBA rotation player late last season with the Kings, averaging 14.4 points and 2.8 assists in 29.9 minutes per game over his final nine appearances. That earned him a two-year contract from the Mavericks in the offseason, and he now looks poised to immediately make an impact with a Dallas second unit lacking in appealing options. With Devin Harris banged up already and J.J. Barea's best days probably behind him, Curry could be a Deron Williams or Wesley Matthews injury away from entering the starting lineup at either guard spot.
Since turning pro in 2013, Curry has seen most of his NBA minutes at shooting guard, but he was given the opportunity to run the point late last season with the Kings when coach George Karl opted to shut down regular starter Rajon Rondo for rest. It was during Curry's nine starts last season that he shined the brightest, averaging 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists across 29.9 minutes per game while hitting 45.5 percent of his shots, including a 45 percent mark from three-point range. While the presence of Deron Williams, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris probably means that Curry will end up seeing most of his minutes with his new team at shooting guard, the versatility he offers will nonetheless help his case for staying on the court.
Curry has already been somewhat of a journeyman after just three seasons in the NBA, already playing for the Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Suns, and Kings. He averaged a career-high 15.7 minutes for Sacramento last season, but that number will be hard to come by this coming season as he plays behind Deron Williams and competes for minutes with J.J. Barea and Devin Harris.
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