STEPH CURRY APPROACHES JORDAN TERRITORY

stephen_curry_rises

Even for those who do not regularly follow regular season NBA regular season basketball, the Golden State Warriors should be considered appointment television. I am not asking anyone to watch the Bucks against the Pistons.

On Saturday night I switched the channel to see the Dubs miraculously tie the Oklahoma City Thunder at the end of regulation time. The rest was left to Stephen Curry, who hit a miraculous three-pointer from another area code to give Golden State a 121-118 win.

Curry finished tying a single-game league record with 12 3’s and broke his own single-season record of three-pointers with 288, with 24 games left in the regular season. Video-game numbers

Or to coin an Al Michaels phrase, he has ‘Gretzkied’ the record.

You may have seen a stat earlier in the weekend that had Curry shooting 35 for 52 67.3 percent from between 28 and 50 feet, more efficient as a player with a 100 percent rate with just two-pointers would be.

Some have reasoned that teams should foul Curry as soon as he crosses half-court, like pitchers always intentionally walked Barry Bonds in the early 2000s.

In theory that would not work over a full game, Curry’s sample-size from 28-plus feet remains small, for the year Curry has made 288 of his 615 three-point attempts, a mere .468 percentage, or a mere 1.4 points per attempt, as opposed to the 1.8 average he gets with two free-throws.

But hypothetically, say the Thunder or Spurs have an 8-point lead with a couple minutes left in a playoff game, or lead by 5 with about 30 seconds remaining. Those can be situations where Curry could be fouled well before he even thinks of hoisting a three. It goes against the adage on not to give the trailing team points with the clock stopped, and would lead to a endless parade of Curry and opposition shooters exchanging free throws. But Gregg Popovich or Billy Donovan just might think about it.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also mused about moving the 3-point line back, as the current distance has become too easy at the NBA level. Such a change would likely separate Curry and Klay Thompson even further from other shooters. The only way to ‘Steph-proof’ the NBA would be to completely eliminate the three-point line. If that happened (it won’t ), that would make Curry like Pete Maravich, he would still be an All-Star but not as dominant.

Finally, with a 30.7 scoring average (previous career high 24.0), does Curry now deserved to be mentioned as Michael Jordan in his prime?

The first answer would likely be to ask again when Curry has five more championship rings. This is also the first year Curry’s FG percentage has exceeded.500 (.515). In his early years MJ exceeded 35 points per game, shot above 53 percent from the field and averaged three steals. MJ’s shooting percentage and points per game fell some what as the supporting cast jelled and the titles came. Jordan only made one three-pointer per two games per the course of his career.

But Curry has no doubt entered the high-rent district, as good as Kobe Bryant at his peak at surpassing narcissist LeBron James.

If Kevin Durant can be reeled in during the off-season, the Warriors will officially become a dynasty.

 

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