Stephen Curry had arguably his best season as a pro, averaging 24.0 points, 8.5 assists, and 4.3 rebounds. He led the NBA in three-pointers made with 261, shooting 42.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Curry was named an All-Star starter for the first time in his career, and is a lock to be on the All-NBA First Team.
Curry has more or less cemented his status as the Warriors’ franchise player, if it wasn’t already apparent after their playoff run from a year ago. He is developing into a superstar right in front of our eyes, and at age 26, is only scratching the surface of his prime.
His jump shot is impeccable. It’s pure, it’s flawless, it’s sweet, it’s beautiful. It’s shocking when a Curry jumper doesn’t hit the bottom of the net with a splash. His ability to create room for himself and get off a shot with a lightning-quick release despite being mugged by the other team’s top defender speaks volumes to his skill set. President Obama called him the best shooter he’s ever seen, and it would be hard to disagree.
There’s no question that Curry is a talented, once-in-a-lifetime player, but he still has his flaws.
Turnovers are one big issue. He turned the ball over 294 times during the regular season, which was just one behind John Wall for most in the NBA. The reasoning for this is that he is constantly being double-teamed and pressured by opponents, leading to errant passes and poor decision-making. The Warriors don’t have many other options to handle the ball, and they need Curry to create plays with the ball in his hand. Still, if Steve Kerr can attempt to play Curry off the ball more and set up screens to free him up, Curry wouldn’t need to handle the ball as much and his turnovers would go down.
The other problem is defense. Now, in the NBA, stars can be forgiven for their poor defensive efforts because they make up for it on offense (see: James Harden, Carmelo Anthony). But both Harden and Anthony are over 6′ 5″. Curry is measly 6′ 3″ and 185 pounds. There’s no way he’s going to be able to match-up against the more physical guards in the league, like Chris Paul. He is quick and gets his fair share of steals (ranked in the top-15 in steals), but just doesn’t have the size to play impactful defense, which is why Klay Thompson would often take the tougher guard assignment on defense.
There are so many to choose from — buzzer beaters, impossible shots, incredible shooting displays — but I have to go with his game-winner in Dallas on April 1st:
There are so many incredible things in this sequence. First, the near-goaltend by Jermaine O’Neal on Monta Ellis. Then, Curry dribbles past half court, puts a couple of crossovers on Jose Calderon just to mess with him, then with the clock winding down, pulls up with his body not even aligned with the basket, and sinks the winning shot. Of course, there’s Mark Cuban’s dejected look captured on replay, Fitz yelling like they’ve just won the championship, and Curry screaming “We out” at the Dallas fans.
If there was one play that captured Curry’s season, that was it.