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According to player-tracking data provided to ESPN.com by STATS LLC, Curry received only 18.5 screens per game through the first 32 games of the season, down slightly from last season’s rate of 18.8. On the season, he has seen 19.6 screens per game; 25 starting point guards have seen more. The team has scored only 1.09 points per play, which is 20th in the league. Hence, Curry’s public and private frustration.
But since that Christmas Day loss, the story has changed. Per SportVU data, the Warriors have bumped up the screens that the reigning MVP sees to 23.4 per game, and the team’s scoring average has ballooned to 1.16 points per play, which would rank fourth best over a full season. Curry has nearly doubled his scoring average out of the pick-and-roll, from 4.9 through Christmas Day to 8.4 since.
Adding the 2014 MVP into the mix was supposed to launch the Warriors’ offense into another stratosphere. But that wasn’t the case in the early going. Some important context: With Curry on the floor last season, the Warriors torched opponents to the tune of 116.7 points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com data.
No glance at the Cardinals can begin without noting the dramatic weakening of their explosive passing game. Their team average of yards per attempt dropped from No. 1 in the NFL in 2015 (8.5 yards) to No. 23 in 2016 (6.85). That’s the meat of coach Bruce Arians’ offense. As quarterback Carson Palmer approaches his 38th birthday — or possibly retirement — it’s fair to wonder if personnel and schematic tweaks alone can produce a bounce-back year in 2017. Also, can the Cardinals really count on much more than they got from tailback David Johnson, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,118)?
Game Mens Wilt Chamberlain Jersey The Cardinals could inspire longer-term confidence by demonstrating a plan beyond the Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald duo. Fitzgerald, who turns 34 in August, caught 107 passes in 2016 but ranked 84th among receivers with an average of 9.6 yards per catch. Adding a big, downfield target will help the Cardinals re-establish their schematic roots.