It seems to be the most talked about topic in American sports this year, that it’s unanimous to say Steph Curry is breaking basketball. From debates about trying to get his NBA2K rating to match his real world performance, or simply the absurdity of him making long distance shots which few players dare to take, or the Warriors chase for 73 wins, it’s almost certain to say that the 2015/2016 NBA season has been Steph’s season.
With great fame will come legions of fans, but also a league of haters in the form a former NBA greats who are grumbling at the what the fuss is all about of this phenom. From hall of famer Oscar Robertson who went on to say it’s simply today’s coaches who are to stupid to come up with a plan to extend there defense out to the perimeter to guard Curry, or former NBA player Stephen Jackson claiming his 2007-2008 Golden State Warriors would beat Curry’s historic Warrior squad.
Strip away all this bitterness from ex-NBA players and one thing remains certain, that what Curry brings to the game is almost freakish and no player should have the ability to do what he does. Last season, Curry led the NBA in total distance of shots both made and attempted: 9,922 feet and 22,943 feet, respectively. This year, he’s doing the same thing, and by even larger margins. He shoots more often and from further away than any other player, and does it so effectively.
What else is outstanding is Curry has attempted 233 shots from between 26 and 35 feet. He has made 108, which means he’s shooting 48.4 percent on those attempts. Only two other players have attempted more shots from that range this season than the 108 Curry has made. Only Portland’s Damian Lillard is closest to Curry in terms of dangerous deep shooting off the dribble and has hit more than 40.
What does this all mean, well basically from areas of the court where few players in the league even need to be guarded, Curry is scoring at an efficiency so high, that it is comparative to the efficiency DeAndre Jordan has at the rim. Keep in mind that when opposing defenders do manage to get close enough to Curry to prevent these long shots, he makes great use of the extra space left between the defender and the basket.
The extra space generated by Curry’s shooting doesn’t just help him it also helps his team mates. Roughly 250 square feet of extra space allows Draymond Green to utilize his passing abilities inside the perimeter or Harrison Barnes to hit three pointers because there are no defenders in the same zip code.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said this season he thought it had come time for the league to move the three point line back a few feet to prevent unworldy shots that Curry seems to be making. “I think it’d open it up more so guys with different skill sets could play,” Cuban said. “It would open up play for more drives. Guys with midrange games would be rewarded and that would stay in the game. There would be more diversity of offensive action in the game.”
With all this said, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Steph Curry will no doubt go down in history as the games greatest shooter. With the Warriors chasing 73 wins, if they were to achieve this feat it would put Steph Curry down as one of the NBA all time greats. Whether you’re a Steph Curry fan or not, you have to admit what he’s doing for the game is epic.
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