Curry could make debut as soon as Thursday

Curry could make debut as soon as Thursday

Published Jan. 18, 2012 2:57 p.m. ET

MIAMI — Soon, it will be Eddy Curry's turn.

The Miami Heat center hasn't played in an NBA regular-season game since Dec. 17, 2009, when he was with New York. But Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Curry could make his Heat debut as soon as Thursday against the Lakers.

"It's going to feel great," Curry said after practice Wednesday. "It'd feel even better if I just did a Mike Miller and went 6 for 6."

Miller, a Heat swingman, made all six of his 3-point attempts Tuesday in Miami's 120-98 victory over San Antonio after playing for the first time this season. (Miller had sports hernia surgery in November.) As for Curry, the Heat might take six fouls, with Curry perhaps coming in handy against Lakers big men Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol.

"Possibly," Spoelstra said of Curry playing against the Lakers. "I'll re-evaluate him day to day. If it doesn't happen (Thursday) or this week, it's soon."

The Heat took a chance on Curry, signing him to a non-guaranteed contract even though he has battled weight problems for several years. Curry was sidelined with a hip flexor Dec. 10 in his first training-camp practice. But he has continued to lose weight after perhaps being around 400 pounds, at one time.

Curry, who revealed shortly after arriving for camp he had lost 75 pounds, still won't reveal his actual weight. But he has lost even more in the past month, and it would be reasonable to assume he's not a lot heavier now than 300.

"It's a great number," Curry said. "But it's not where I want it to be at. When it's what I want it to be, I'll probably put on a sticker (with his weight)."

The 7-foot Curry could end up being a key piece for the Heat. In a 117-104 loss Friday at Denver, Spoelstra benched 6-foot-9 Joel Anthony because he was being dominated by Timofey Mozgov, of all people. To get more size, Spoelstra went with 6-foot-11 backup Dexter Pittman. But Pittman, listed at 308 pounds, is not in great shape, and now looks to be heavier than Curry.

Pittman sat out Tuesday because of the flu. But he was back practicing Wednesday.

Curry, 29, never has been a great rebounder. But he did average as many as 19.5 points per game for New York in 2006-07, when he was primed to become one of the NBA's better centers. Soon, though, it was downhill.

"I can definitely touch it. I can feel it," Curry said of whether the light is at the end of the tunnel regarding his comeback. "This is when you got to push hard. You got to push through it. You got to expect setbacks because nothing is going to be easy. I'm going to continue to push through it and persevere."

Curry admits he thinks regularly about how much he believes he can help the Heat.

"Every game, every practice, I'm thinking about it," Curry said. "Even when I was hurt, I had so much time to really watch film and watch the guys as we played in every practice. . . . I hope (Spoelstra) does activate me (Thursday). But, if not, I'm going to wait patiently. I'm going to keep putting in the work and when it's time, it's time."

Curry doesn't need to hit six 3-pointers in his debut. Six minutes would be just fine.