Although the injury to his right shin hasn’t been clearly identified all season, it has kept Curry out of more than half of the team’s practices as he tries to rest and rehab.
Extra rest has been key for Curry’s performance all year. Will it be a problem come the ACC and NCAA Tournaments? Any game after the first one in the ACC Tournament is on zero rest while the NCAA Tournament has just one-day breaks between games in each location.
Curry is averaging 17.1 points per game, but here are his numbers broken down by days of rest:
- Four or more days of rest: 19.5 points per game (eight games)
- Three days of rest: 18.6 points per game (eight games)
- Two days of rest: 16.6 points per game (nine games)
- Zero or one day of rest: 11.0 points per game (four games)
The trend is pretty clear: more rest = more points for Curry.
His biggest game of the year, 31 points, came on eight days of rest against Santa Clara. In six of Duke’s eight games with four or more days of rest, Curry has scored at least 20 points.
But rest isn’t a magic formula for Curry going off. He had his worst game of the year—scoring no points and going 0-for-10 from the field—on five days of rest before the first Miami game.
The Blue Devils have played three games without a day of rest. Two of those came in the Battle 4 Atlantis when Curry put up decent numbers against tough teams. Playing at least 30 minutes in each game of the three-day tournament, Curry scored 15 points in the semifinals against Virginia Commonwealth and 14 against Louisville in the finals.
After the Battle 4 Atlantis, Curry looked tired and scored just four points in Duke’s home victory against Ohio State. He sat out the team’s next game against Delaware, giving him a long rest before the team’s game against Temple, in which he scored 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting.
Duke’s other no-rest game was in December against Elon. Curry scored just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Curry only had one game with one day of rest, scoring seven points in the second game against Miami. So, maybe the Hurricanes have more to do with Curry’s struggles in those two games than the rest after he scored none in the first meeting on a long rest.
It’s remarkable Curry has been able to play through his injury all season, averaging 31.6 minutes per game. But it will be interesting to see how he responds in crunch time.