Steph Curry and the Warriors have endured a miserable stretch since Kevin Durant left the lineup with a knee injury, losing five of their last seven games as the Spurs challenge for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Individually, Curry is mired in a shocking shooting slump. The two-time reigning MVP is shooting 28 percent from three in the month of March, and his stats have dipped across the board this season as the team adjusted to having Durant on the floor.
On Tuesday's episode of The Herd, Colin Cowherd and Chris Broussard reacted to Curry's struggles this season - and Cowherd argued that Curry's performances of late have brought into question his status as a franchise player.
Colin Cowherd: Curry can still be tremendous, but he's not on LeBron's level as a franchise player
“One year ago Cam Newton was a legend, Bryce Harper was hitting .340 and Steph was unanimous MVP.
Guess who’s been great for 14 years without a hiccup? LeBron James.
Steph Curry, now, has had an 0-for-11 game, and 0-for-10 and an 0-for-8 three-point game. Kevin Durant leaves and everybody focuses on Steph.
So I want you to think about this. Over the last year, here is the reality with Steph Curry… These four things have happened:
- Bad Finals
- Lobbied to get another superstar
- Immediately became the second-best player on the team
- When said superstar gets hurt, cannot carry the team
If I say this: ‘Steph Curry is a really, really good basketball player.
We have massively overvalued him as a franchise star.’”
Jesse JohnsonJesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Broussard: We try to compare Steph to LeBron, but he's not that type of player
“I think, look, your point is great. Valid.
I think we want to compare the situation to LeBron, who as you said has been great for 14 years and gets so much criticism.
The reason is this - rightly or wrongly, it’s because LeBron James is in the conversation for the GOAT. That’s it.
… I’ve compared Durant going to Golden State as similar to LeBron [going to Miami] in principle, but Durant went to a much better team. That’s undebatable.
So in that case it would be worse if you want to say one of them was worse. But he didn’t get as much criticism of LeBron, even though he got [some] criticism. Why? Because nobody’s ever going to put Kevin Durant, as great as he is, in the same sentence as Michael Jordan.”
Brett DavisBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Colin Cowherd: Curry's not even close to the MVP conversation this year
“I look at Steph Curry today, and I watched the Finals. And I watch his injury. And I watch him lobbying for KD. And I watch him now, as KD gets hurt, [be] ineffective.
And I say to myself, ‘if you ask every GM in the league…’ Now think about this, Chris. We have the most wide-open MVP race we’ve had in my life, in the top-6 he wouldn’t get a vote.
I would put John Wall ahead of him. I’d put Isaiah Thomas ahead of him. I’d put Westbrook, Kawhi, LeBron… he’s not even in the discussion! He’s fallen off a cliff! Is he a franchise guy?"
Brad PennerBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Broussard: Curry would have had a similar year had Durant not arrived
“I think he’s a franchise player. Look, I give Steph some slack. During the first few months of the season when Durant was there, I did feel like he was capable of playing if not exactly like he did last year, then close. Relatively close. He’s still that caliber of player.
But bringing in a superstar… that’s much harder of an adjustment than bringing in a role player, because everything changes. If you brought LeBron to the Warriors, everything would have to change. He’s great, but he becomes the system. And so with Durant not quite as big, but similar, everything adjusted and I thought that that’s why Steph was not putting up the same numbers.
Now, for some reason it’s thrown him off of his game and his shooting touch. Because he’s missing open shots."
Brad PennerBrad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Colin Cowherd: We elevated Curry to legend status too soon
"Let’s [break down the term] ‘great players.’ Could you make an argument that great players come in three forms.
- Ray Allen-level great player
- MVP-level great player
And we’ve had about nine legends in the history of basketball. We moved Curry into ‘legend’ way too quickly. That we moved him a slot above what he is.
We had him in the Magic-Michael-LeBron [category] last year for about 12 months, and he’s not that."