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News » Nash-Curry matchup has coach doing double-take

Nash-Curry matchup has coach doing double-take

Nash-Curry matchup has coach doing double-take When Don Nelson acquired Steve Nash as an unestablished third-year player in Dallas for the 1998-99 season, the coach threatened to fine the point guard if he didn't shoot the ball at least 10 times a game.

"He just wanted to pass the ball and make everyone happy, so he was half the player I thought he could become," Nelson said. "I had to try a whole bunch of different stuff to get him to take his shots."

That point finally sank in during the 2000-01 season, when Nash nearly doubled his shot total, averaged 15.6 points and 7.3 assists and made the first of six All-Star Game appearances. Four seasons later, Nash won his first of back-to-back MVP awards in Phoenix.

Nelson, now the Warriors coach, believes he has a similar young point guard in Stephen Curry . Yet Curry already gets the point about being an all-around player.

Curry "has a really good feel for when to take his shot and when to get other people the ball," Nelson said. "He can handle the ball, he can get into creases and he can change paces. He can make something out of almost any play that I run."

That's what will make the Nash-Curry matchup so interesting when they play against one another for the first time tonight in Phoenix. Thinking of what's ahead, Curry couldn't help but sneak a smile.

"It'll be fun to play against an All-Star caliber point guard who I've studied a lot and tried to learn from for the last few years," Curry said. "I think we'll have a good battle.

"He makes it easy on himself by getting to the right spots and always keeping his dribble alive so he can be a distributor or a shooter."

Trying to figure out when to play either of those roles might be the toughest thing for a rookie point guard to learn. In the Warriors' opening-night loss to Houston, Stephen Jackson was visibly upset about not getting the ball from Curry twice and Monta Ellis showed up Curry with his reaction to the last-second play.

"It's tough, because I'm sure there are streaks in a game when a guy feels like he's being freezed out a bit, but I've got to make the right play," Curry said. "I want to make my teammates happy, but the ultimate thing is to make the right decision and help us win. I think everyone will eventually respect that."

More Morrow: Nelson said his team has to find ways to get more shots for the reigning three-point-percentage leader Anthony Morrow . His players have a distinctly different belief of how that will happen.

"He's got to find his own shots," Ellis said. "He's got to be in spots where we can see that he's open to get a shot."

Nelson said he's going to play Morrow more often with Curry, the team's best passer.

Morrow "moves without the ball really well, so when guys are trying to make a one-on-one move, they have to be aware of how they can get him an open look," Curry said. "When he's open, you've got to get him the ball, because that's usually an automatic made shot."

Warriors tonight 0-1 at Suns 1-0Phoenix 7 p.m.CSNBA/680

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Added: October 30, 2009


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