The Greatness of Stephen Curry
*Photo via USA Today
The NBA has simply never seen a player like Stephen Curry before. Curry is probably the only player that could ever legitimately be considered the league’s best shooter, ball-handler, AND passer! How does someone dominate the league on his way to his first MVP and Championship, and follow that up the next season with a 19-0 start and an 8 PPG increase in scoring? Could Curry win MVP and most improved player in the same season?
Curry and the Warriors are clearly in the midst of a historic run that has no end in sight. All NBA fans, not just those in the Bay Area, should enjoy and appreciate what is unfolding. The Warriors may just dominate the league for years; only four players on the team are over 30 and none are older than 32. Curry’s stats in GSW’s 19-0 start have been nothing short of ridiculous: 31.6 PPG (1st in the NBA), 5.2 RPG, 6 APG, 2.56 SPG (3rd in the NBA), 51.2 FG% (3rd amongst guards), 44.5 3P%, and 94.1 FT% (1st in the NBA). Perhaps Curry’s most ridiculous stat is that he leads the league with 94 made three pointers while Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is in second with 52. Curry has made more three pointers than the Timberwolves (92) and Nets (81) entire rosters!
Keep in mind that we are already about 20% into the season. As great as Curry is, his situation obviously helps. Curry is fortunate to be surrounded by many great playmakers, screeners, defenders, and shooters. The Warriors system certainly gives Curry the freedom to play at his MVP level. As much as Curry is aided by his situation, the Warriors would be a borderline playoff team without him. In order to be a true superstar you must make those around you better. Curry sets up teammates for baskets as well as any player in the game. In addition Curry’s threat as a shooter forces the defense to give him a lot of attention even when he doesn’t have the ball.
*Photo via Getty Images
Since entering the league out of Davidson, Curry has improved his game to the point where he no longer has any clear weaknesses. Steph has developed into one of the better rebounding point guards in the NBA and is now a solid defender. No one will confuse him with a lockdown defender, but he is no longer a liability on that end of the court. Curry is as effective offensively off the ball as he is as the lead guard. The Warriors often let Curry run around screens a la Ray Allen and allow playmakers like Andre Iguodala, Leandro Barbosa, and Shaun Livingston handle the ball. There are some very good teams in the league, including the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, that could pose a threat to the Warriors title defense but despite the competition, it is hard to imagine Golden State not hoisting up another Larry O’Brien trophy if they remain healthy.
Perhaps the Warriors are not competing with any of today’s teams, but instead the top teams in NBA history. With their 19-0 start the Warriors look to be taking aim at the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls championship team that holds the best regular season record ever (72-10). With Curry leading the way my bet is the Warriors will set NBA history on their way to the franchise’s 5th NBA title. Maybe this time Andre Iguodala won't steal Curry’s Finals MVP award.
*Stats and info courtesy of ESPN