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The Sixers’ unsung hero: Seth Curry

Curry brought the playoff heroics in 2021.

2021 NBA Playoffs - Atlanta Hawks v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Seth Curry is the type of player who, for the first few years of the post-Process era, seemed like the perfect role player for the Sixers. Curry, while obviously not the same caliber of flamethrower as his older brother, represented a rare figure for the franchise: a guard who could both shoot and dribble. Basketball fans all over might think that’s a common archetype, but, as someone who’s watched the Sixers for two decades, I can safely say that I’ve rarely seen it!

I wrote last week about how Andrew Toney is the most underrated Sixers player ever, especially for fans in their 20s like myself. Toney was a multiple-time All-Star, so Curry isn’t quite at his level, but the way Toney could destroy teams on any given night in the postseason gives me Curry vibes. On a team that has big money players like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons (for now) and Tobias Harris, Curry remains a key cog that makes every other player better with his gravity and propensity for knocking down threes.

I don’t need to rehash Simmons’ playoff woes and the nights that Harris no-showed back in June. Sixers fans are well aware of that. Outside of Embiid, no Sixer came to play every game in the postseason more than Curry. Those were the two Sixers players who didn’t falter under the biggest stage.

Curry was second on the team in scoring in the seven-game series against the Hawks with 21 points per game. He shot 59.6 percent from deep on 52 attempts. THAT’S NOT A TYPO. THAT’S BONKERS. His true shooting percentage was 78.8 percent. That’s the basketball equivalent of Barry Bonds 2004 rocket fuel stats.

“The playoffs are different,” Doc Rivers said at Sixers practice on Wednesday when speaking to reporters about Curry. “You get into a series, you fall on someone and you take advantage of it. You use [Curry]. You stick with it.”

Entering the 2021 season as the Sixers’ fifth wheel, Curry established himself as a player any Sixers fan should be glad the team is going to battle with regardless of the opponent. It’s reasonable to imagine what the Sixers’ offense could look like sans Simmons and how that could benefit Embiid. I also wonder how that could positively affect Curry. I’m led to think that any Simmons trade would bring back some sort of primary ball-handler. Adding a guard who can do a little bit of everything offensively, shoot, dribble, finish, distribute, should open up Curry’s game too.

I don’t know what the Sixers’ starting lineup will look like the next time they take the court for a playoff game. I do know that if Curry is on the floor alongside Embiid, however, that the Sixers can have a puncher’s chance of getting a W.

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