Stephen Curry going for 40, Golden State Warriors at the top of the league: We’re talking 2016 or so, aren’t we? No, try 2021.
With many fans moving on from the Warriors era to consider possible dynasties of LeBron James and the Lakers or Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, Golden State is back on the back of Curry’s scoring earlier this season.
On Thursday night, Curry had nine 3-pointers and 40 points as the Warriors improved to a league-best 13-2 with a 104-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went down 13 in the fourth quarter. That was no problem for Curry, who had 20 points in this period, helping his team win a 36-8 win over Cleveland.
Around 2015 or ’16, Curry, already a great 3-point shooter, almost broke the game with a torrent of 3s, many from very, very deep, taking his team to five straight finals. , including its most recent championship. in 2018.
But Curry lost most of 2019-20 due to a left hand injury. Although he returned last season, averaging 32 points in a game, the team did not miss the playoffs. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala were gone in 2019, and injuries cost Klay Thompson more than two full seasons. The golden years of the Golden State seemed to be over.
Yet at 33 years old, Curry has helped completely transform the team this year.
continued development of Jordan Poole (17 points in a game, up 5 points from last season); Drummond Green’s excellent defense, rebounding (eight games) and passing (eight assists per game); And another solid season from Andrew Wiggins (18ppg) is a part of the revival. But Curry deserves a sizable amount of credit.
In his first 15 games, Curry already has three 40-point attempts and 50-pointers against Atlanta last week. Thursday night was his fourth game with nine 3-pointers. With 29.5 points per game, he leads the race for his third scoring title.
Curry is the undisputed best 3-point shooter in the history of the game. Although he has scored a maximum of nine points this year, he has played 22 games in his career with 3 being scored in two points; The next best player is Thompson, who has only five.
Curry does not back down from the shot. Early in his career, about a third of his shots came from outside the arc. This increased to 50 percent and eventually 60 percent in their prime years. This season, 65 percent of his total shots are from 3, which would be the highest shot of his career. His 85 3-pointers took the league to 20.
Oh, he also hits 96 percent of his free throws.
Curry is also tight-lipped about his shot for the benefit of the team. He is careful to avoid the most dangerous shot by the statisticians, the long 2, which has a low percentage but 3 offers without bonus points.
After a few early seasons in which he took about 30 percent of his shots from more than 16 feet in a 2-point field, Curry cut about 10 percent of his shots in his peak years. Last season he took only 7 percent of his shots from that area, and this season he’s almost given up on the long 2, taking it only 3.5 percent of the time.
His number of 3s seems to compensate for a slightly lower percentage from longer distances; He’s hitting 42 percent this season, which would be the second lowest mark of his career in the entire season, and down from the 45 percent or so he shot at his peak.
It is also possible that this figure is slightly lower due to the sample size. Should Curry sink a few more 3s, as it seems he could, he could actually improve this season. And with Thompson finally rehearsing after his injury nightmare, the team could soon be even better.