2010 Report Card: Eddy Curry

Given Curry’s lack of court time last year there’s no point in doing any kind of statistical analysis of him. In fact he’s only played 10 games total in his 2 seasons under D’Antoni. And I don’t foresee any more in a New York uniform. At this point he’s merely a big contract, a tumor on the Knicks cap space. If Curry has the desire to play elsewhere, the Knicks can buy him out and save some money for free agency this summer. If he doesn’t New York can use his contract in a trade. The latter might cause more of a problem because the Knicks would have to include some tangible assets, and last I checked most of them went in the Tracy McGrady swap.

As for Curry the player, he was 90% as athletic as Shaq, but only had 10% of the Big Diesel’s skill set. Curry featured the same 3 or 4 moves that were defendable with a double team or defender drawing a charge. And while Shaq rounded out his game with great rebounding, defense and passing, Curry lacked any semblance of these skills. Curry came into the league as a guy that if you gave him the ball often enough he would give you 20 points trailed by a string of deficiencies. He never evolved beyond that.

Eddy’s biggest shortcoming was not being able to improve himself. When Eddy Curry arrived in New York, he was supposed to turn into the franchise center. What he failed to grasp was that he was supposed to grow into that role, not fall into it. I won’t be surprised if another team gives Curry a chance. But no one is going to throw a big contract at him, or even hand him a starting job. His upside now is a decent backup center, one that can provide a some scoring off the bench. And that’s the best case scenario. I won’t be surprised if he fails to accumulate 1000 minutes in a season again.

Ultimately Eddy Curry’s legacy in New York will be a cautionary tale. Becoming a great athlete is more than just size and physical ability. At the highest levels, sports are about preparation, technique, and desire. Many players have excelled in the league beyond their bodily limitations due to an excess of these attributes. On the other hand plenty of beastly youths have failed to reach their potential. For teams scouting young players, having great physical ability without great yield should be a warning sign that the player is lacking in the mental traits to make them into a franchise player. Eddy Curry’s career is the response to “you can’t teach height”, or more succinctly put “production trumps athleticism”.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

3 thoughts to “2010 Report Card: Eddy Curry”

  1. I dont see him playing anymore with D’antoni either , he just doesn’t fit, MD’s system requires people who know how to play the game and eddy’s bball IQ is just to low and slow , he just doesn’t make good quick decisions with the ball or in general on a basketball court, if its not scoring he doesn’t have much of a head for the game especially if his confidence is shot , and its in the toilet in NY right now .

    He isn’t much of a rebounder but is a stat anomoly in the sense the more he played as a knick the better their rebounding margin, i suspect that had more to do with his decent ability to box out and let those who actually rebound well(qrich and Davivd Lee) do so, and he physically wore down players who had to push and shove with him for 35minutes a game that season …not because he is a good rebounder , i think he’s made his peace with that and works to minimize his fault there.

    on defense he is decent on his man usually , better when he is scoring well it seems and worse when he is struggling to score , and almost always a slow rotating help defender…gearing up his jump for a sensation block rather than using his large frame to be an obstacle to intimdate shots or just using sound judgement and making players shoot over him like less athletic post defenders like oakley , kurt thomas or even a guy like nick collison, no one should be asking curry to a monster shotblock or should be , but making reasonable reads on defense I think is very fair, and he only does rarely.

    as for intangibles …its bad , he seems nice enough and likeable to teammates , but he just seems like the type of guy who have to motive all the time and if he isn’t your franchise guy he is not worth the hassle keep in shape unless he really fills a void…big guys just seem to get those nagging injuries more often and curry to be useful needs to play enough to stay in condition and keep his weight reasonable, its pretty obvious he doesn’t have it in him to do one his own which is sad for a professional athlete.

    To me when he is in good shape he is still a good starter in the nba provided he has a team that have strengths that minimize his weaknesses, but on most good teams he is a bench player, providing some scoring against overwhelmed reserves.

  2. Lesson #42 from the Isiah era:

    Don’t sign/trade for a PF/C who eats like a LT/LG.

  3. “As for Curry the player, he was 90% as athletic as Shaq, but only had 10% of the Big Diesel’s skill set.”

    I completely disagree with this (though I’ll preemptively acknowledge perhaps our disagreement is based on semantics, different interpretations of these terms). I thought he was very skilled, at least as a low-post scorer. His problem was that he wasn’t very athletic. Older Shaq had a love-hate relationship with conditioning, but the young Shaq was tremendously athletic. The Curry I saw could never run the floor or move like that. He couldn’t jump and didn’t have the quickness to cut off a penetrator, which I see more as “athleticism” than “skill.”

    Anyway, good riddance. I don’t blame him for not being a franchise player. That was Isiah’s fault in thinking he was one, not Curry’s fault for not being one. But I still can’t stand him.

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