A former Duke basketball player nowadays looks as much like a fine-tuned shooting machine as anyone who has ever played the game.
Until last season, the 2008-09 Duke basketball team stood as the program’s least accurate from beyond the arc at 34.9 percent (to be fair, that was the first season the NCAA had ever extended the 3-point line). In light of the latest and career highlights from Seth Curry, 20/20 hindsight says Mike Krzyzewski could have helped that group’s efforts from deep had he targeted the Charlotte native as a prep.
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That said, it’s tough to blame the coaching legend for the missed opportunity (Curry spent his freshman year at Liberty before transferring to Duke, where he shined until 2013, and then went undrafted). After all, at the time, despite being the younger brother of then-March Mardness sensation Stephen Curry, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound shooting guard sat well outside any blueblood’s sight at No. 292 on the 247Sports 2008 Composite.
Fast-forward to the present. Friday night against the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks saw their fourth-leading scorer (12.1 points per game) leapfrog former North Carolina Tar Heels shooting star Hubert Davis and the late Dražen Petrović to No. 2 on the all-time list of career NBA 3-point shooting percentages (minimum 250 makes). Curry’s 44.2 percent now only trails the 45.4 percent of Steve Kerr.
Among active players, Curry was already No. 1, slightly ahead of his older brother’s 43.5 percent (at 41.6, fellow Duke basketball alum and current New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard J.J. Redick ranks No. 7 and No. 17, respectively, on the active and all-time lists).
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Though the 126-118 loss in Miami dropped Dallas to No. 7 in the Western Conference standings at 36-24, Curry’s sizzling effort is worth celebrating. The 29-year-old finished with a career-high 37 points via a 13-for-15 clip from the field, including 8-for-9 from downtown, and a 3-for-4 mark from the charity stripe; he also had two rebounds and two assists across 36 minutes (after drawing his 18th start of the season).
Per a tweet from Stats Perform, Curry’s 113.3 effective field goal percentage (which accounts for the value of a 3-pointer) against the Heat now stands as “the highest in a game in NBA history (minimum 15 FGA).”
In his sixth season — he’s played for six franchises — Curry is averaging 24.4 minutes and shooting 48.8 percent from the field, 44.8 percent from 3-point land, and 86.6 percent from the foul line. Entering Sunday’s 3:30 p.m. (EST) tip at the 17-41 Minnesota Timberwolves, he currently trails by 0.7 his 12.8 points per game for the 2016-17 Mavericks.
All the above isn’t too shabby for someone no major-conference coaches wanted to recruit out of high school and no NBA big wigs wanted to draft out of college.