Warriors superstar defies team struggles to earn major award recognition

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers / Amanda Loman/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry remains in the running to win the NBA's Clutch Player of the Year, with the two-time MVP named as one of three finalists for the award.

Curry joins Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chicago Bulls veteran DeMar DeRozan as the trio of finalists looking to become just the second winner in the award's short history.

Stephen Curry's individual clutch stats defied the Golden State Warriors' struggles in late-game situations this season

Curry totalled the most points of any player in clutch situations -- classified as the final five minutes of a game where the margin is five points or less. Despite playing in the second-most clutch games behind Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam, sheer volume is far from Curry's only argument.

The 36-year-old shot 49.6% from the floor, 45.7% from three-point range and 95.1% from free-throw line, all percentages that well exceeded his season splits of 45/41/92. The fact Curry's brilliance didn't always reflect his team's fortunes may work against him, with the Warriors having been below average in clutch situations.

Golden State's 48 clutch games were the most of any team in the league, having finished with a 24-24 record while ranking 17th in net rating. The Bulls, who also missed the playoffs, had a clutch record more reflective of DeRozan's late-game heroics. They ranked second in clutch net rating, with their 27-17 record quite remarkable given they finished 39-43 overall.

The Thunder finished 24-14 in their clutch games with the eighth-best net rating, while Gilgeous-Alexander's 58.1% shooting in the clutch is also likely to prove a strong argument for the 25-year-old.

If anything it's quite extraordinary that Curry has reached this point given the Warriors' clutch struggles, which included losing a number of games after holding big leads. How much Golden State's team performance weighs into the final voting will likely determine Curry's chances of lifting another major NBA award.

No other Warrior was named a finalist in the other six categories. Jonathan Kuminga had briefly entered the Most Improved Player conversation late in the season, but he missed out with Tyrese Maxey, Alperun Sengun and Coby White named the three finalists.