During training camp earlier this month, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talked about how much Seth Curry’s defense has improved, particularly his on-the-ball defense.
Curry spent the 2016-’18 seasons with the Mavs before playing last season for the Portland Trail Blazers. Asked what he did to help Curry improve his defense, Blazers coach Terry Stotts said: “Nothing. He did it all himself. His defensive numbers were actually really good for us.
“I think he’s a smart player and I think if you’re a smart player, you can be a good defender. You can be in the right spots, you can talk, you can have instincts. I think the experience, he’s gotten older, so I think that experience lends itself to being a better defender as well.”
After his one season with the Blazers, Curry signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs this past summer. Now, the six-year veteran guard is back where his career jumped off the launching pad during the 2016-’17 season when Curry averaged a career-high 12.8 points and shot a career-high 48.1 percent from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point land.
“I think it’s a great system for him,” Stotts said. “He had a really good year for us last year. I think Rick does a nice job of taking advantage of shooters.
“I think the familiarity that Seth has playing for Rick in the system will lend itself to maybe throw him out there with a unique playmaking forward so he can play off the ball and get his shots that way. I think it’s a really good fit.”
STOTTS LEARNED SOME THINGS FROM CARLISLE
Before he became the coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts served as an assistant coach with the Mavs under Rick Carlisle from 2008-’12.
“I was with George Karl for a long time and Rick, and they’re very different in their approach to the game,” Stotts said. “They’re both passionate about the game, but their approach to coaching is very different.
“To be able to see a different way of communicating or running an offense or running a defense or film session, whatever, it gave me just a new perspective. I think it affected how I approach preparation for my team, for myself, the dynamics of my coaching staff, just a whole host of things.”
Stotts was the Mavs’ offensive coordinator when they captured the 2011 NBA title. He also guided the Blazers to a No. 3 seed and a spot in the Western Conference Finals last season, where they were swept in four games to the Golden State Warriors.
DWIGHT POWELL UPDATE
Center/forward Dwight Powell missed his third straight game while dealing with a strained left hamstring.
Powell’s injury occurred early in training camp, and also forced him to miss all five of the Mavs’ preseason games.
“He’s progressing well, and he’s had no setbacks,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “At this point it’s more of a day-to-day thing.
“He had a good workout today, and tomorrow be back with the team and we’ll see what is what.”