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Coach Larry Brown has labeled Curry "the franchise" while trying to build an inside-out attack around his skills in the low post, but he also has expressed frustration with Curry's lack of rebounding and shot-blocking.

Lately, that has translated into a number of fourth quarters spent on the bench for Curry, so when he got into the game for just under seven minutes in the final period of the Knicks' 101-82 loss Monday night in Indiana, it ranked as a small upset.

"Oh yeah, that was weird," Curry said, joking at his own expense. "He put me out there to see if I had anything left. I tried to play hard and make a difference and tried to take control of the game, but it was a little too late."

Curry wasn't laughing in the second quarter when he went in for 2:22 and then was pulled by Brown after giving up two straight offensive rebounds and committing a foul against Pacers backup center Jeff Foster. The look on Curry's face when he came to the bench was as close to anger as the mild-mannered player ever gets, and it took some words from veteran Malik Rose to calm him down.

Before the game, Brown reiterated his belief in the importance of Curry's development into a dominant inside presence.

"It's vital," Brown said, "because he has the tools. He's so athletic. I talk to him all the time about his priorities have got to be defense and rebounding and being a presence.",0,5995019.story?coll=ny-sports-print
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