See, Warriors fans? I told you.
Stephen Curry will make the trip to Houston for the NBA All-Star Game after all, as a participant in the three-point contest on Saturday, February 16th. The Golden State Warriors’ star floor general currently ranks second in the Association in treys made with 142, trailing only Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets, and also hits from beyond the arc at an impressive .449 clip.
Curry will face off against Anderson, the Knicks’ Steve Novak, the Pacers’ Paul George, the Cavs’ Kyrie Irving and the Spurs’ Matt Bonner. This may be a smidgen of west coast bias, but I like Curry’s chances to win the trial of the trifectas. When he’s got it going, there’s no better long range shooter in the league.
That’s not all. Because of injuries to stars like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Tim Duncan, Curry stands a strong chance of being named a replacement on the Western Conference roster. So, for the moment, it seems the uproar over Curry’s failure to make the original squad may have been premature.
Along with teammate David Lee’s All-Star selection, Curry’s presence in the three-point contest represents a huge step up in prominence for Golden State, a franchise that only days ago hadn’t seen one of its players go to the mid-season gala since Latrell Sprewell in 1997. That’s 16 years of mediocrity, coaching changes, bad contracts finally washed away by a pair of bright stars that have led the Dubs to their best start in several decades. For the first time since the Clinton administration, Warriors fans have a reason to tune in on All-Star weekend.
Specifically regarding Curry, his ascension from boom-or-bust first round selection in 2009 to legitimate team leader and (potentially) NBA All-Star has validated the choice Golden State made when they plucked him from Davidson. It also validates the team’s decision to go with Curry over Monta Ellis for the forseeable future. While Curry has blossomed into one of the league’s most exciting young stars, Ellis’ two seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks have seen him post his lowest scoring averages since his sophomore campaign (2006-07).
Expect to see a lot of Curry over All-Star weekend. And expect to see him there quite a bit in the future. Only next year, he won’t have to rely on the ill health of other players to get him on the floor on one of the NBA’s largest stages.