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Stephen Curry And Monta Ellis Give Warriors Fans Reason To Hope

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Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis Give Warriors Fans Reason To Hope
January 22, 2010 – 8:30 am by Bunk
With March Madness just around the corner, I realized that I’m going to miss watching Stephen Curry lead his Davidson Wildcats to what I imagine might have been another solid run through the Big Dance. Curry elected to forego his senior year of college of course, opting to instead cash in and take his game to the next level. He landed in the San Francisco Bay area with the Golden State Warriors, one of the NBA’s most exciting young teams. Unfortunately for them, they’ve had to overcome a rash of injuries. They were already fairly thin, if not talented and interesting, heading in to the season, so it’s not at all surprising that they’re in last place in their division through the first 40 games of the season. There’s reason to be optimistic though. Their backcourt is one of the better tandems in the league with Monta Ellis and rookie Stephen Curry. They average nearly 40 points between the two of them, and on the other end of the floor, are combining to come up with 4 steals per game.
Curry joined KNBR in San Francisco to talk about how he’s been able to elevate his play each month since entering the league, his improving defense, what it’s like playing with Ellis, the depleted Warriors roster, playing in front of the rowdy crowds at Oracle Arena, and what his ‘welcome to the NBA’ moment was for him.
On how he’s able to maintain his energy level night in and night out despite playing so many minutes:
“I really don’t know. We have a lot of fun out there and especially when games are competitive, you just got to find that extra energy to get you through the game and try to stay at a high level. I know we feed off each other and definitely the crowd at home, so we’re always going to have the energy, no matter how many minutes or what course it is in the season.”
On his surprisingly decent (and improving) defense:
“That is part of it. I mean in college I wasn’t really called upon to take that defensive challenge. We had other guys on our team that stepped up and guarded the best player on the other team. But in the NBA you got to bring it every night. There’s no match-up that’s going to be an easy night for you. So you just got to go out there and have some pride, and I’m learning as time goes on that the coaching staff is helping me out with strategies, knowing where to be and positioning. So I’m definitely getting a lot better at it and I’m taking a lot of pride in it.”
On playing with fellow backcourt sensation Monta Ellis:
“It is. It’s a very, very aggressive and enthusiastic backcourt between us where I get a rebound, he’s in transition, I pass it up, he makes one of his spectacular plays. Defenses really key on him on the offensive end when he’s using ball screens and things like that. So he draws a lot of attention and makes it easy on me and my teammates to make open shots. And so it’s a real give and take relationship out there that’s just really helping us both get to where we are. So I’m having a lot of fun playing along side him.”
On how mentally taxing it’s been for him and other healthy Warriors players to constantly know they’re going to be short handed going in to a game due to injuries:
“Well we realize whoever suits up that night is all we got. We’re always going to be short handed the rest of the year, so we don’t want to use that excuse anymore. We want to still go out and try to be competitive. You know, even though we have our full strength of roster, we’ve shown that we can beat some of the best teams in the NBA, and we value those opportunities when those teams come in to our home arena or when we go on the road and get huge wins, and really pull together as a team – whatever team it might be – to get a win is really our motivation. Whether it’s short handed or not, we’ve got to be competitive.”
On if there was a ‘wow, I’m in the NBA moment’ earlier in the season for him:
“It hit me earlier in the season when we first played the Lakers in the preseason. They had just won the championship and 6′11″, 7″ coming at you in their front line, and you got Kobe and Derek Fisher, guys I’ve watched play on T.V. my whole life.  And now I’m actually going against them. So I got a little starstruck the day before the game when you realize who you’re playing. But once the game starts, all that kind of goes out of the way and you just play basketball like you always have. I guess I crossed Kobe one time and missed the shot – that way my first, wow I’m here kind of moment.”
On what it’s like playing in front of those electric crowds at Oracle Arena, and how much boost their unique home court advantage gives the team on a nightly basis:
“Definitely. It’s electric in there, especially in those big games when we have control, are winning and things are going well. Even when they’re not, they’re always coming out, supporting us, and loud and they get our adrenaline going. It’s a fun arena to play in every night. Not many NBA teams have fans that support them as well as we do, so we’re privileged to have those fans behind us and we’re going to go play hard for them every night.”
Listen here to Curry on KNBR in San Francisco with Fitz and Brooks
Tags: best backcourts in NBA, Golden State Warriors, KNBR, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry

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