Curry amazes

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:15 PM ET

No scenario was available, no option existed and as a result there was no chance the Raptors could have gotten their hands on Stephen Curry.

Based on his season and judging by the impact he has on games, it’s amazing why Curry wasn’t taken higher than seventh overall.

The kid is a poor-man’s version of Steve Nash, a fundamentally sound player who is smart and savvy, his game belying his age and his physical makeup.

The way Curry was carving the Raptors in the first quarter and in the fourth when, he looked equal part Pete Maravich and Nash, dazzling fans with his ability to handle the ball and shoot.

Curry’s history in Toronto is well documented.

His dad, Dell Curry, who was underrated and always came up big in the post-season, played three seasons in Toronto.

Curry is more than a catch-and-shoot player his dad was when Dell Curry terrorized teams.

Whether it was in practice or on game day, a young Stephen Curry was always spotted getting shots off and finding nothing but net from virtually every spot on the floor.

The Raptors didn’t pick until the ninth slot last June, when they selected DeMar DeRozan.

At the NBA’s combine for rookies, the Raptors had an occasion to interview Curry and came away very impressed.

“Steph was so intelligent,’’ said head coach Jay Triano, who was an assistant under Lenny Wilkens when Dell Curry played in Toronto. “He blew us away with his knowledge and understanding.”

Tyreke Evans is the leading candidate to cop rookie honours, but Curry will get consideration because his play merits it.

Curry’s development makes one wonder what Minnesota was thinking when it took Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Blake Griffin was the consensus first overall pick, a no-brainer who went to the L.A. Clippers.

Injuries prevented Griffin from playing this season, but he’s too good and too gifted not to be a presence.

Curry is special.

All one had to see was his behind-the-back pass to Corey Maggette, a sequence Curry completed with his left hand.

Curry played a game-high 44 minutes in his return to Toronto, a triumphant occasion that began with a warm applause during the pre-game introduction.

“I had a lot of great memories here watching my dad play,’’ he said. “I saw some familiar faces. It’s even the same atmosphere when I was here for three years.

“It was kind of surreal being on the court playing in a real game. I remember going up to the third floor and playing in the practice gym.

“Being back is cool.”

frank.zicarelli@sunmedia.ca


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