The Golden State Warriors made an impressive – some would argue improbable - run this year during the regular season and into the 2013 NBA Playoffs. The absolute biggest reason for their success was due to the quickly rising stardom of point guard Stephen Curry.
After not being voted into the 2013 NBA All Star Game in February, it seemed as if Curry took it personally. After all, he was playing some of the best basketball out of anybody in the league. For him to get snubbed as he did was an injustice and an embarrasment to voters.
Last season, Curry put up one of the more impressive stat lines out of any point guard in the entire NBA. He boasted a giant 22.9 points per game while dishing out 6.9 assists in the process. At only 6’3” he also reeled in 4.0 rebounds a night as well.
Curry has been very consistent taking the ball away over his career too. A career average of 1.7 steals per game has him looking like there is nothing he cannot do on either end of court.
In 2012, Curry shot the ball at a solid rate of 45 percent. While that is in fact the lowest percentage of his career, there is a perfectly logical reason why. Prior to 2012, Curry hadn’t taken more than 4.7 three point shots per game. Last year, that number rose to 7.7.
What makes this excusable? His percentage from downtown was also 45 percent – incredible, right?
Curry has improved in almost every area each year in the league, especially last season in regards to his assist total. His per game average rose by 1.6 assists per game, showing he has gotten much better at getting his teammates involved.
With the likes of Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Deron Williams – among others – atop everyone’s list of the league’s best point guards, Curry is often a guy overlooked or easily forgotten. Make no mistake about it, though, next season that will not be the case.
If he continues at this rate of improvement, Curry could leapfrog a couple of those guys and launch himself even as far as an MVP candidate. There has been nobody better shooting the ball when hot than Curry over this past season – nobody.
With not a whole lot going on in the offseason – the Warriors do not own a pick in the draft – they can focus mostly on improvement from last season. If this team sticks together, I don’t see a reason why Curry couldn’t carry these guys even further into the playoffs next year. Who knows, maybe even an NBA Finals could be in store in the near future?