Is Stephen Curry the greatest offensive player in NBA history?

Stephen Curry is undoubtedly an all-time great basketball player, mostly due to his ability to do quite literally anything you could ask somebody to do on offense, allowing him to apply constant pressure to opposing defenses.

While his defense is incredibly underrated, his offense is still what makes his game special, and is so good in fact, that he may just be the greatest player on that side of the ball in NBA history.

There are numerous aspects of his ability on offense that make him stand out and many of which go under the radar despite him being one of the best in the NBA at those particular skills.

Stephen Curry has made the Golden State Warriors a dynasty and he might be the greatest of all time in two areas on offense by a wide margin.

Of course, everybody knows about Curry’s unreal ability to shoot the ball at a high volume with even higher efficiency, but many forget about his ability to move off the ball.

In the 2022 NBA Finals and throughout the regular season, many teams opted to not double-team Curry for much of the game, many speculate that this is due to great teammates, or a limited ability to score one on one, but I believe that it’s due to the fact that he is more dangerous without the ball in his hands.

Watching games featuring the two-time MVP, he rarely stands still at any point on either side of the ball. Curry is always moving, either to get open, make a play, or get a stop on defense.

The amount of conditioning and stamina to sustain this level of movement is incredibly impressive, especially when taking into account how many games and how many minutes he plays in those games.

His ability to move off the ball is what allows him to shoot at the incredible clip that he does. We saw this when Draymond Green, the primary playmaker outside of Stephen Curry, went down with a disk injury and Curry’s shooting percentages plummeted.

His off-ball movement keeps opposing players tired while helping him find open shots, mix this with his ability to shoot and it creates gravity, I know, cliche for a Curry talking point, keeping players eyes on him at all times.

Stephen Curry is also underrated in other aspects of offense, being one of the best in the NBA in those areas.

While he rarely gets opportunities to shoot shots in the mid-range due to his smaller frame and limited ability to jump over a contesting defender, the shot is as good as two points the second it leaves his fingertips shooting 46.5% from 10-16 feet for his career and surpassing 50% from this range five times throughout his career.

Not only is he effective from mid-range, but his efficiency does not drop as he gets further away, staying at just shy of 43% from three for his career and 46.3% between 16 feet and the three-point arc.

Much of the reason he doesn’t take many shots from mid-range is due to his elite playmaking and handles, allowing him to break down the defense to either get a good shot at the rim, which he shoots 64.5% from within 3 feet for his career, and either get a decent look at the rim or pull in the help defense for an open look in the corner.

Curry’s elite ability to score over or around bigger defenders at the rim also causes many slower players to close out a second later or get blown by easier when they fully commit, making it more difficult to guard him.

Stephen Curry is also subjectively a top-three handle on the ball of all time, but nearly every fan has him in their top five.

He is also a fantastic passer, even as a player that scores at the level that he does, making him one of the two players that can score at an elite level despite being pass-first players, along with LeBron James.

Pairing that with his elite ability to finish around the rim at the same efficiency as most big men and his 90% career free throw shooting, it allows him to beat defenses more often than not.

No player in NBA history has combined the ability to score at the level of Curry with the incredible playmaking he has consistently outside of LeBron James and Larry Bird, but they never moved off the ball like Curry does or handle the ball at the same level.

Stephen Curry is one of the most skilled players in NBA history and uses it to his advantage, creating plays for himself and others. Even if he isn’t the greatest offensive player in history, he is most definitely up there.