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Curry burns opponents and cooks in MVP race
By Bi Yu posted 1/13/15

Curry pull up jumperStephen Curry is living up to the accolades of being a leading MVP candidate.  In his 6th NBA season Curry is averaging 23 points (7th in the league) and 8 assists (5th) a game.  What is even more telling for the #7 draft pick from Davidson, is that he is first in steals at 2.2 a contest. All that math and a penchant for controlling a game has made Curry a NBA shining star.

Curry has always been a shooting star, shooting the lights out. He lead the nation in scoring (28.6 ppg.) his junior year, before he entered the draft in 2009. However he wasn't just a scorer in college, he was also a team leader. His sophomore year he carried Davidson to the Elite 8, the furthest they ever reached in the tournament.

He entered the NBA as a three-point snipper. In each of his first 5 years in the league, the lowest he's shot from three is 42-percent. He has never shot under 45-percent from the field for his career, and has career highs of 45-percent from three and 49-percent from the field.

Curry's impact on Golden State, the team that drafted him, is evident as they boast the best NBA record at 29-5. The residual effect has catapulted Curry as a top 3 MVP candidate and the leading All-Star vote getter for the powerful Western Conference. Only Lebron James has more All-Star votes overall.

“I’ve always kept my head down; just trying to get better every single year, add something to my game and capitalize on opportunities,” Curry told Tom Tolbert on KNBR.  “You always envision being part of a winning team, winning championships, and that being able to speak for itself.  When that happens individuals will get recognized for their accomplishments and contributing to that success of the team.  That is my focus night-in night-out is to do my part, play well, help us win games.  I’ve always said at the end of the year all the accolade stuff will take care of itself.”

The 6-3 point guard started his first All-Star game last year out of the West where elite point guards reign. Every night he battles the likes of Chris Paul, Tony Parker

Curry always had a question mark over his head since entering the league in 2009 as the #7 draft pick.  

Can he play point?  Can he guard NBA caliber guards? Would he ever be as good as Monte Ellis? The franchise player who got shipped due to Curry's potential.

The past two season he has blossomed into the most modest super star, which has been the catalyst for the Warriors ascension.  The Warriors staple with current Coach Steve Kerr and former Coach Mark Jackson is defense. This year Curry has shut down some of the elite guards in the West.  

It's the offensive end where 5-time champion Steve Kerr's style has improved the Warriors and Curry, good decisions and sharing the ball. Curry's Achilles heel has been turnovers, which gave Golden State a .

Curry warm upCoach Hall of fame coach Bobby Knight has said that “basketball is 90% deception.” Curry must be the illusionist.  A magician with the ball and with his athleticism.  He not the quickest guard, doesn’t jump the highest, but he is the best shooter and has an intellectual grasp on the game.

Curry is getting to the point of making his teammates better.  He has always led by example, putting in the work, nose to the grindstone, and yielding results.  He has shown improvement over his career,  only his 2011-12 injury year where he played 24 games and averaged a career low 14 points.

Now he directs the entire team and places them in the right place for success.  His jumps his assists up over his career as well.  This year he is averaging 8 assists, 5th in the NBA.  But the spit shine to his scepter is how he handles the ball and doesn’t turn it over.  

Curry averaged career highs last season at 24 points and 8.5 assists during Coach Mark Jackson’s tenure.  Jackson  made Curry the coach on the court with point guard lens that afforded Jackson a 17 year career, yet no NBA titles.  In comes new coach Steve Kerr clanking with his 5 championship rings. Taking Curry to the next level from an elite point guard to an elite player who transcends a position and impacts the game with their magnetism.

Even though Curry is the focus of every NBA defensive scheme, you can’t bottle him up. He’s akin to a champagne explosion on the court.  The ball handling, the gyrations and ultimately his scoring aptitude keeps opponents off balance.  That allows him to keep the entire defense on their heels and focused on him, that is when the illusion starts.  Curry has so many moves with his ridiculous handles. His hands wave over the ball as he mesmerizes the opponent and stops on a dime and by you again to score or drop a dime.

He is now in the same conversation as Lebron James and Kevin Durant as the most valuable player for their team.  As deep as the West is for point guard with Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul,  Tony Parker and now Rajon Rondo, but now Curry is starting to separate himself.  Instead of wondering if he is the best point guard in the league, now he may be the most valuable player.

 

 

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