Warriors 2022 training camp preview: Can Steph Curry carry over NBA Finals?

·4 min read

What Warriors fans can expect from Steph in 2022-23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In the last year, Steph Curry has become the NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter, along with being named to the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team, winning All-Star Game MVP, Western Conference finals MVP, Finals MVP and his fourth championship with the Warriors.

And that was all before an offseason where he hosted the ESPYs, was named the Best NBA Player at the award show and, one month later, earned his diploma from Davidson College while entering the school's Hall of Fame and having his No. 30 jersey retired on the same day.

Not bad at all. That won't be an easy one to top.

At 34 years old -- he'll be 35 in mid-March -- Curry is entering his 14th NBA season. For the umpteenth time, the Warriors' success will start and end with Curry's health and play. What can they expect from their superstar and center of Golden State's universe this time around?

With Warriors training camp starting on Sept. 24, we'll look at fair expectations for each player for the 2022-23 season. Just like everything else, Curry kicks it off.

2022-23 Expectations

The first number to know when looking at Curry's upcoming season is six. Why? Curry only missed six games before injuring his foot against the Boston Celtics on March 16, knocking him out for the final two weeks of the regular season.

Only one of those wasn't a part of a back-to-back.

The 2022-23 season is the first of Curry's new four-year, $215 million contract extension. It also could be the start to Steve Kerr preserving him a bit more often. That thinking has to start at some point.

Curry never wants to sit out games. He might have the best endurance of any athlete in the game, and his motor never stops. Last season, he averaged 34.5 minutes per game in the regular season. That was his most in a full season since the 2013-14 campaign, when he was 25 years old. With Jordan Poole's emergence and Klay Thompson not having to miss the first 38 games of the season, Curry's play time could take a step back, and the number of games he sits just might move up a tick.

Even though Curry racked up every award imaginable in the last year and was named All-NBA for the eighth time, the greatest shooter of all time actually had his worst shooting season of his career. He shot under 40 percent from 3-point range for the first time ever, and his 43.7 overall field-goal percentage also was a career worst. His 55.4 effective field-goal percentage was his lowest since the 2012-13 season, and his 25.0 points per game were his fewest since Kevin Durant's first season as a Warrior in 2016-17.

After shooting 38 percent on threes in the regular season, Curry shot 39.7 percent from deep in the playoffs, including 43.7 percent in the Finals. Expect him to be much closer to that 40-percent threshold in Year 14, and don't bet against him exceeding that number yet again.

RELATED: Why can't Steph be NBA's best player after latest title?

Though Curry's scoring was slightly down last season, his 6.3 assists per game were his most in a full season since the season KD showed up in the Bay Area. There's good reason to believe he'll dish the rock as much or even more next season. Especially early on.

Coming off an NBA championship, Curry will want to get players like Thompson, Poole and Andrew Wiggins in rhythm. He'll know when to feed James Wiseman to get him involved, and he'll know when it's time to take over -- as he did throughout his dominance against the Celtics.

That's only one of Curry's innate powers.

Expecting Curry to pull off his heroics from the Finals for an 82-game slate seems asinine. At the same time, he's showing us how he's extending his peak and an even better regular season -- with preservation sprinkled in -- might be on the horizon.

Download and follow the Dubs Talk Podcast