Seth Curry had spent two nondescript seasons in the NBA before he signed with Sacramento in 2015.
He played just four games those first two seasons — on call-up from the G League where he spent most of his time and on a 10-day contract.
It wasn’t until the final month of the 2015-16 that Curry began to see consistent minutes with the Kings, and he produced. It's also when it started to become apparent that Curry had a future in the NBA.
He had four 20-point performances, shot 31-for-64 (48.4%) on 3-pointers and averaged 15.2 points in 11 games.
"I always believed I was good enough," said Curry, the younger brother of Golden State’s Steph Curry. "It was just a matter of getting an opportunity and making the most out of it. I knew the confidence I had in myself and just maximizing what I do best and getting an opportunity to show at an NBA level and being consistent with it. That’s pretty much it."
As usual, there’s a Curry starring in the NBA playoffs, it’s just not the one you’re used to seeing. Without Curry, the Sixers might not be playing in a Game 7 on Sunday with a chance to reach the Eastern Conference finals.
In a must-win Game 6 on the road, Curry had 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 6-for-9 on 3-pointers.
"I’ve just been working hard, preparing and getting a great opportunity. So I’m going to be aggressive out there," Curry said. "It’s a great opportunity to make plays and just provide this team with a lot of different stuff offensively and defensively. I’m just trying to kind of accept the challenge of playing against a great team. It’s a lot of fun."
He averages 19.1 points on 57.5% shooting (50% on 3s) and has scored at least 20 points (at least 30 twice) in five of Philadelphia past eight games, and against the Hawks, he is the Sixers’ second-leading scorer at 21.8 points per game with a scorching 59.6% on 3-pointers.
"I’m just locked in on what I’ve got to do every night on the floor," Curry said. "No different than what I did in the playoffs last year. Focus on every single day and how I can get better at practice that day. Got to do that at night to win the game. End of the season, I’ll look back on everything. Right now, I’m just locked in on the process."
This isn’t a fluke stretch. Curry is the NBA’s active leader in 3-point shooting percentage and is second all-time behind Warriors coach Steve Kerr and five spots ahead of Steph.
For a while, Seth wasn’t even in the shadow of Steph. Now, he has emerged as a legit shooting guard who doesn’t need to play in the shadow of anyone.
He has impressed Sixers coach Doc Rivers, who is also Curry’s father-in-law.
"When you’re on the floor, it’s no lovey dovey or anything like that," said Rivers, whose daughter Callie is married to Seth.
Curry has been building toward this moment. Last season with Dallas, he was 10-for-21 on 3s against the Clippers, then coached by Rivers.
"What I’ve seen in the last couple of years is how good he is with the ball," Rivers said. "They did a little bit of it in Dallas. When they put him in pick-and-rolls, I thought he was really good. They didn’t do it a lot. But coming here, that’s where his game has expanded the most. People already knew he could shoot the ball. But what (they) didn’t know was how well of a playmaker he’d be. He’s been that for us."
As part of the greatest shooting family in NBA history — dad Dell knocked down 3s in his 15-year NBA career — Seth listens to his coaches and two family members.
"They watch the game — they’ve got some input here and there or if they’re at the crib and watching the game, we’ll talk about different stuff that we see and take it from there," Curry said. "It’s pretty much the same it’s been my whole life. We talk basketball, and we try to help each other get better and just being around each other."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NBA playoffs: 76ers' Seth Curry emerging out of brother Steph's shadow