— Sports

On Basketball: Stephen Curry shooting his way into history

It’s been 45 years since the last instance of an NBA MVP being selected from a team that wasn’t at least ten games over the .500 mark, but Curry has shot his way into serious consideration. He’s averaging 31.4 points on 49% shooting this season; the only other season he averaged more than 30 points was 2015-16, when he averaged 30.1 on 50% shooting – and was the unanimous MVP. That’s the last time the NBA saw a shooting stretch like the one Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors has assembled over the past few weeks.

Those Warriors were 73-9. These Warriors are 29-29. That’s a big difference, the biggest reason why Curry isn’t even more prevalent in the MVP talks.

“He’s never played any better, that’s for sure,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s been incredible to watch.”

Bob Pettit and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players to win MVP awards on teams with winning percentages below .560. The award typically goes to the best player on a team that finishes high in the standings, not one that’ll likely have to scratch and claw to make the postseason.

That said, these are not typical times.

“Steph Curry left no doubt about who the real MVP is tonight!” Magic Johnson tweeted on Monday when Curry had 49 points to lead Golden State past Philadelphia.

With 78 3-pointers in his last 11 games, Curry has set the record for most 3’s in an 11-game stretch from the same regular season in NBA history. (And during this run, he’s also broken the records for most 3’s in spans of 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, and three games. He already owned the two-game mark before this stretch started.)

players – Damian Lillard and Curry’s Golden State teammate Klay Thompson – have at least four games with ten or more 3’s made. Ever. In their careers.

Curry just did it four times in eight days.

“I’ve been blessed with a certain skill set and approach to the game that I’ve worked on, year after year,” Curry said. “And that work does pay off. The summers are hard; they’re the hardest times of the year because I build up that intensity and have a program that gets me in shape and ready me to sustain that throughout the season.”

That’s why he looks good as ever at this point in the season. Curry has scored at least 30 points in his last 11 games. Nobody at his age — anyone 33 or older — has ever done that. Kobe Bryant had a run of 10 straight. Curry passed him on Monday night in Philadelphia.

Even Kerr – a gifted television analyst before he became one of the best coaches in the game – is running out of superlatives to offer.

“Whatever I said last game, just use that,” Kerr said. “It’s the same thing after every game. It’s utter amazement at this guy’s skill level, heart, mind, and focus. It’s just amazing to watch.”

His performances sure seem MVP-worthy.

Since returning from a bruised tailbone 12 games ago – Curry missed another game after initially returning, and the Warriors lost that game to Toronto by 53 points – here are his points each night, in order: 32, 36, 37, 41, 32, 38, 53, 42, 33, 47 and 49.

The Warriors are 28-22 with him, 1-7 without him.
If they make the playoffs, he’s why.

And there isn’t a team in the Western Conference, even though the Warriors are playing without Thompson for the second consecutive season. They will be thrilled to see Golden State coming at them in Round 1, especially with Curry playing like this.

“I’ve seen Kobe Bryant, early in his career, had a stretch where he went nuts,” Kerr said. “And Michael Jordan added some stretches where he scored like crazy. But nobody’s ever shot the ball like this in the game’s history. And even by Steph’s lofty standards.”

Kerr has three rings as a coach and five others from his playing days. He was a sharpshooter as well. But there isn’t much he can say to Curry regarding actual coaching.

“Nice shot” is what Kerr typically sticks to.

Kerr insists this is the best version of Curry anyone has ever seen.

It’s tough to argue otherwise.


Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at Reynolds(at)ap.org.


More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button