To say that Stephen Curry has been good all season would be an understatement. If you remember during the offseason, people were questioning the Golden State Warriors’ decision to extend their point guard for another four seasons at about $11 million per year.
Doubts regarding durability and ability to be a true floor general were among the primary complaints. But, as the season has progressed, Curry has improved to the point to where two things happen: You expect every shot he puts up to go in, and you think he can orchestrate the Warriors with his ball handling and court vision to a win on any night.
Curry is the point guard. You have to be ready because he may do something on any given night that could be historic. So be like me, keep the DVR ready at all times because we may be witnessing one of the top 3 shooters ever to play. Make no question, the league knows he’s an All-Star. But these performances have raised Curry to that stature.
In my own opinion, it is not any coincidence that most of his best games have come near the end of the season. He is the leader of the Warriors, and when they have needed him the most, he has more than made it his responsibility to lead by example, in spectacular fashion, I might add.
Still have this game on my DVR. It was just amazing to watch. The tweets from around the league showed you how special his performance was. It didn’t matter where, who, what or when. Finishing with 54 points, 11 3-pointers, while playing all 48 minutes. Remember, David Lee was suspended for this game, so there was extra attention on Curry to carry the team. But, alas, the Dubs fell to the Knicks thanks to late game heroics by J.R. Smith and Melo. But, on the game’s largest stage, Curry, with his barrage of threes, announced his presence with authority.
Within five minutes of this game, you knew two things: The Lakers were shooting a lot of free throws and Curry might go for 80 (14 points with 6:35 left in the 1st quarter). One thing happened, the other didn’t, but 47 isn’t too shabby (on 31 shots and only four free throws). But it was the other things he did that game that made it as good or better than the Knicks game. In the Garden, you knew what he was doing, making up for the scoring load from a missing piece (David Lee). In this game, it was win by any means necessary, which included nine assists, six boards, three steals and one turnover. That’s winning basketball. Nevertheless, the Dubs lost, and Curry’s performance was generally overshadowed by Kobe’s Achilles injury.
I know Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Leonard did not play. But this game was huge. The Rockets were losing and eventually lost, so a win in this game would allow for the Warriors to control their playoff destiny (i.e., playing an injury depleted Nuggets team or playing a rested Spurs team). In addition, this second unit for the Spurs has competed against some elite teams when they’ve been thrown to the wolves by Popovich. So, not necessary an “easy” win but winnable nonetheless. Curry, quiet in the first half, finishes strong putting the W’s firmly ahead in a game that seemed to be waffling back and forth. Another solid box score (35 pts, eight reb, five ast, two steals) capped by a shooting display that awoke a crowd that all of sudden was in playoff form with five minutes left when he hit a ridiculous one foot runner from the top to leave himself one 3-pointer behind Ray Allen for the season record. Oh yeah, and he played a little AND1 mixtape with Gary Neal, just watch.
Efficient to the max (31 pts on 16 shots, 6-of-8 on 3’s). This game was a coming out party for the whole team, and Curry led the charge against Chris Paul. The play of the game was probably Curry dooping Paul in the backcourt, taking the inbounds pass (at full speed) the length of the court, taking the shove and floating it in off glass plus the foul, simply sweet. Anyway, Curry’s energy flowed to everyone on the roster and they basically ran the Clipps out of the gym.
Could have been curtains from this point on, everyone remembers holding their breath when Curry went down with another ankle injury. But before that, awesome. He had 35 points and eight assists. Most of his damage was also against John Wall before he got ejected for one of the most ridiculous displays you will ever see. Curry led the balanced attack (six players in double figures) and opened lanes for everyone. But, this game could have been a turning point for the end of the season. Curry made it clear this ankle injury would not be a hinder, limit or derail him and his team the rest of the season. Since the injury….he’s averaged 26.9 pts (4.4 3’s) on 47 percent shooting (47 percent on 3’s) while passing out 8.8 assists.
This was probably the pinnacle of Curry’s floor leading growth. Late season game against Phoenix, a team who has given the Warriors fits recently. The game was in Phoenix where they have trouble winning, with playoff seeding implications at the time (side note: Phoenix beat Houston on April 15 to allow the Warriors the ability to win out for the sixth seed, so they had been playing well at this point in time). Curry had a career-high 15 assists while leading the Dubs back from a large early deficit. He also had one of his highlight reels plays of the season, pulling a Harlem Globetrotter dribbling display after making the steal and draining a trey on the break.
This was a game following his ankle injury. He did not shoot well, but did just about everything else in 43 minutes. He put them up 20 in the first half with some of his homemade shake and bake, and served Steve Nash some desert in the second half. His overall game showed as he moved the ball and helped get everyone else involved (Thompson – 22 pts, Lee – 23 pts, Barnes – 10 pts). This game was a laugher for the most part until the Lakers made a late run, but by then, Curry had basically put them too far behind in the first three quarters with some help from his friends.
On a night in night out basis, Curry faces high level point guards as the league has some of its best talent at that position it has ever seen. In this instance, the physically imposing Deron Williams was standing in front of Curry. So, he goes out and has another brilliant floor general type performance with 28 pts and nine assists, and no turnovers. He was dangerous from the outside, opening it up for David Lee inside who stole the spotlight (30 points 15 rebounds). But, this game early in the season was the beginning of Curry’s emergence as an elite guard, who just happens to play the point guard position.
One of Curry’s more well rounded games of the season. 22 points on 13 shots including 4 of 5 from land of 3. Granted, the game did not include the head to head versus Rajon Rando who had just gone down with his season ending knee injury, but, veteran team with defensive schemes have tended to give the Dubs, more specifically Curry, problems. He showed his well rounded game by filling up the stat sheet.