Despite his surprising play this season, Dallas Mavericks guard Seth Curry apparently hasn’t exceeded the team’s expectations.
“He hasn’t even gotten to our expectations yet,” owner Mark Cuban said. “I think Seth can be a lot better.
“He’s getting better defensively, offensively he can shoot the ball. He’s more comfortable where he’s going to get his shots, which helps. He’s only played  games [in 3 1/2 seasons] — he’s going to get better.”
In the last three games, Curry has averaged 17 points and shot 62.1 percent (18 of 29) from the field. That includes going 8 of 13 from 3-point range.
Since joining the Mavs via free agency (two years, $6 million) from Sacramento last summer, Curry has not only made an impact with his offense; his defense has improved exponentially.
I think we’ve asked more of him [in the weight room] — and he’s gotten stronger and that helps his defense.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, on Seth Curry
“He’s given us good defense in a lot of these games, and he gives us another scoring threat,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Since Seth has been here he’s worked harder than he’s ever had in the weight room.
“I think we’ve asked more of him in there — and he’s gotten stronger and that helps his defense. And he’s had some really good defensive games recently.”
Curry, who comes from a family of sharpshooters, has been impressed with his defensive improvements.
“I think I’ve gotten a lot better in being in the right spots,” Curry said. “I’m just trying to use my quickness to my advantage, and use my hands and my smarts.
“I’m just trying to get better every single day.”
Curry is averaging a career-high 10.5 points a game and shooting a career-high 46.1 percent from the field.
Cuban says tanking ‘fair conversation’
Cuban said the Mavs’ recent uptick shouldn’t squash all the rhetoric from fans who want his team to play the younger players and tank the rest of the season in order to improve their positioning in the June NBA Draft.
“We’ve played better, but people aren’t putting us in the top three of the NBA yet,” said Cuban, whose team is 3-2 in its last five games. “And that’s the goal, to get to championship caliber, so it’s a fair conversation.
“My solution is to hope everybody behind us and just in front of us wins a lot. So I’m rooting for Philly to win out — except for us — Minnesota to win out, Phoenix to win out, Brooklyn to win out, that way we can keep on getting better and not worry about it.”
The Mavs are 14-29 on the season. The only teams with worst records are Phoenix (13-29), Miami (13-30) and Brooklyn (9-33).
Coaches exec dies
Michael Goldberg, 73, who served as executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association for nearly four decades, has died. No cause of death was immediately announced Saturday.
Carlisle, the NBCA president, called Goldberg “a leader, pioneer and trusted friend.”