The biggest breakout star of the 2013 postseason was Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. Curry, a major snub from the Western All-Star team back in February, proved to the NBA fans and coaches that he deserves to be mentioned in the category with other NBA greats.
In the postseason, Curry went toe-to-toe with Denver Nuggets speedster Ty Lawson and then Tony Parker. Curry showed he could play against the best competition, averaging 23.4 points and 8.1 assists while shooting 43 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. In some games, Curry looked like Reggie Miller or Michael Jordan, but other times he looked more like Sam Bowie or Jay Williams post-crash due to an ankle injury.
Next season Curry will have a larger target on his back. Opposing squads will try to lock him down and limit his offensive contributions. Curry will have to deal with being the Warriors franchise guy and best player.
So, can Curry contend and possibly win the MVP award next season?
The short the answer is no. Until LeBron James joins the Cleveland Browns in a Jordan-esque baseball move, then anyone stealing the MVP award from him seems unlikely. If the award was called the “Anybody But LeBron Award,” then Curry would have a chance.
But as the sudden creation of an MVP award like the one mentioned above seems highly unlikely, then the only way someone else wins the award is if the use the same logic they used in 1992-93 when Charles Barkely won the MVP over Michael Jordan. This logic being that Jordan and now LeBron could win the award every single season and that they should give someone else a turn to hold the trophy.
This past season, Curry finished 11th in the MVP balloting, the highest among non-All-Stars. He averaged 22.9 points and 6.9 assists per game. He collected four rebounds per game and gathered 1.6 steals, and he was also one of the best shooters in the entire league.
But for Curry to really have a chance to win the MVP, he must be even more productive. If we consider the 2011-12 season a wash for Curry, as he played only 26 games due to multiple ankle injuries, and look at his 2010-11 stats, then we can see that Curry averaged more than four points per game this season than in 2010. He averaged one more assist this year than in 2010 and shot a better percentage from three.
For Curry to contend for the MVP award next season, than he will need to increase his scoring average by four points, going from 22.9 to 26.9. He will need to add one more assist to his per game total, from 6.9 to 7.9 and collect one or two rebounds while continuing to shoot at a high percentage.
Hence his statline would be: 26.9 points, 7.9 assists, five rebounds and 1.6 steals, all while playing 38 minutes per game and shooting more than 40 percent from the field and three.
This past season player A averaged 27.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.8 steals per game. Player A shot 45 percent from the field and 38 percent from three. Player A played 37 minutes per game and was his team’s best player.
Player A is Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony finished third in MVP voting, and if Curry increases his production to what we pointed out above, than he would surely be a top 5 candidate behind LeBron and Kevin Durant.
If Curry does average 27 points, eight assists, five rebounds and more than a steal per game while shooting such a high percentage and carrying the Warriors to a high playoff seed, than he will definitely be an MVP candidate.