When Doc Rivers took over as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2020 offseason, he knew he had a talented roster led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, he still felt that something was missing from them.
They needed some shooting as well as some playmaking. Somebody who can make plays for others off the dribble while also being a legitimate threat from deep.
So, the Sixers made a deal for Seth Curry from the Dallas Mavericks. The team sent Josh Richardson and a second-round pick to the Mavs for Curry and the deal has been working out pretty well for them.
After going for 23 points in Thursday’s road win over the Detroit Pistons, Rivers explains just what he saw in Curry and why the team went after him.
“We started talking about him and I kept saying ‘We need another playmaker here’,” said Rivers. “Seth’s a playmaker. He’s a great shooter, but he’s a playmaker and he’s done that for us.”
Rivers got an up close and personal look with Curry in the 2020 playoffs when Rivers’ Los Angeles Clippers matched up with Curry and the Mavericks in the playoffs. In that series, Curry averaged 12.8 points while shooting 47.6% from deep and Rivers noticed something in his game that he would like in Philadelphia.
“We played him in the playoffs and he killed us in pick-and-roll,” he explained. “Dallas, the series was tied 2-2, I don’t remember anymore what it was, but I thought Seth had a huge impact and it was not his catch and shoot, it was all pick-and-roll play. We started trapping him and they went away from it, thank God.”
In Philadelphia, Curry has started all 66 games he has appeared in. That’s a far cry from his past where he started only 78 of the 256 games he played in before coming to the City of Brotherly Love. That’s another thing that may surprise some, but Rivers made it simple why Curry starts on this team.
“We saw him as a starter because of his shooting,” he stated. “You play him with Joel Embiid and we just thought that combination was a good combination. JJ Redick was a great starter with Joel so when you put a shooter like that next to Joel, you become a great shooter.”
Curry has been on a tear to begin the season as he is averaging 17.8 points and shooting 53.1% from deep. His scoring right now is a big help with the Sixers so shorthanded.
“Just the flow of the game,” he said. “It’s the style of play we’re playing. We’re starting to run more pick-and-roll, the ball’s been in my hands a little bit more to make plays, and that’s just a product of the style of play that we’re playing. It’s not really anything I’m doing different.”