Stephen Curry‘s first half for the Golden State Warriors was certainly All-Star worthy. In fact, it could be argued that Curry had the best first half of any Western Conference guard not named Chris Paul.
But these are the Warriors we are talking about, so national respect and recognition is going to come more slowly than it should. As much of the basketball watching public continues to listen to Charles Barkley, the baby steps this franchise needs to get some national love will have to happen on the bigger stages.
So that makes Saturday’s NBA Three-Point shooting contest that much more of a star making opportunity for Curry.
Curry comes in, on paper, as the prohibitive favorite. Tied in terms of tops in the league for three-point percentage (44.7 percent), Curry has both the flair and the stroke to get it done at the contest’s five shooting positions. He’s not discriminatory with his three-point range and can hit from all points across the arc.
The East shooters (Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Steve Novak) are interesting in terms of athleticism and pedigree, but other than Novak (the current percentage co-leader with Curry) this group is not likely to match Curry shot-for-shot in a pure exhibition of putting it up.
The West shooters (Ryan Anderson, Matt Bonner and Curry) are a little more intriguing given that Anderson might be the best three-point shooter in the NBA when covered and that Bonner has mastered the wing three set shot. But Curry has the athletic and the quickness edge here, which matters in this contest’s emphasis on making volume threes.
Curry should have the mental edge over everyone , being the son of a former competitor in this event (Dell Curry, who amazingly, never won this title) and having done it before (in his 2010 rookie season).
He’s got the stroke, the skills and stamina, along with the motivation to put himself and his franchise on the map.
Book him for a shootout win over Bonner in the final round and look for a sweet swish of the money ball to seal the deal.