Steph takes it to another level

Steph takes it to another level
April 28
13:06 2021

Stephen Curry is playing lights-out basketball right now. Without his “Splash Brother,” Klay Thompson, healthy, Curry is putting up numbers comparable to his MVP season of 2015-16. He is changing the game of basketball unlike any other player that I have seen in my lifetime, giving hope to smaller and less athletic players.

I promise I am not being a prisoner of the moment. I sat and thought long and hard about the players of the last 30 years that have transformed the league. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and LeBron James all changed the game in some way, shape or form during their time, but none have done it the way Curry has in my opinion.

Curry has changed the game in a way unlike the other players listed above. Unlike Jordan, Bryant or James, who were all 6’6 or taller, Curry is only 6’3. And unlike the other three, Curry does not rely on supreme athleticism to make him great. Instead, Curry uses his ball handling, craftiness and elite shooting to make him the great player he has become.

Most people are not fortunate enough to grow to 6’7 with above average athletic ability; however, there are a lot of 6’3 semi-athletic players and Curry has given a lot of them hope. At the time that I am writing this, Curry has had a 10-game stretch unlike any we have seen in over a decade. He is shooting 55% from the field, 50% from three-point land and 91% from the free throw line. He is also averaging over 40 points per game during that stretch, while also hitting 72 three-point shots.

“I’ve seen Kobe Bryant early in his career had a stretch where he went nuts,” said Warrior head coach Steve Kerr. “Obviously, Michael Jordan had some stretches where he just scored like crazy, but obviously nobody’s ever shot the ball like this in the history of the game. Even by Steph’s own lofty standards, this is above and beyond.”

It seems to me that Curry is playing with a chip on his shoulder this year. The two-time MVP already has a mantle full of trophies and accomplishments, but I’m sure he has heard the doubts and comments people have made about him and the Warriors’ team.

Another stat that boggled my mind was that Curry has hit 10 or more three-pointers six times this season and he’s done it a total of 21 times in his career. The mind-boggling part of the stat is that no other player in the history of the NBA has more than five such games in their career.

Steph just turned 33 years of age and I feel that he realizes the window is possibly closing for the Warriors. They eagerly await the return of Thompson next season to see if they can reclaim some of the glory from past championship seasons.

Curry is the greatest shooter in the history of the league, by all accounts. He is the greatest shooter because he can shoot the ball effectively in every way. He can spot up, he can shoot off the dribble, he can shoot in traffic and he can shoot it coming off screens. No other player in the history of the game can make those same claims.

As soon as he crosses half court, Curry is a threat to score the basketball. I think people have become so accustomed to Curry shooting so well from everywhere on the court, it’s kind of like how people became used to the spectacular plays made by Jordan, Bryant, James or O’Neal.

I am not sure that we will ever see a player reach the level that Curry has with the same skill set. We have seen big men like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and O’Neal dominate the league at one point or another. Wing players like Jordan, Bryant and James have also done it. No point guard with Curry’s skill set has ever done it on this level.  

Curry is already a hall of fame player, but he still has some things to accomplish before he hangs it up. Even though he has three titles, Curry has yet to be named NBA Finals MVP and that is one thing that I know must be on his mind when he thinks about his legacy.

Curry has catapulted himself into the MVP conversation with his recent play. The Warriors are under .500 at this point in the season and sit in the 9th spot in the Western Conference. They are within striking distance of fighting for a playoff spot and if Curry continues to play this way, they probably will get in.  

It will be interesting to see if Curry can maintain this level of play for the rest of the season. I just implore fans to enjoy watching this style of greatness before it’s gone, because unlike other styles, I am not sure we will ever see this again.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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