Steph Curry is still the best man for the job
Stephen Curry’s abilities have come into question after his slow first half, but he’s still the best player for Durant and the Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors have become Kevin Durant’s team. He’s been their best player by far, leading the offense while becoming one of the top rim protectors in basketball. He is a legitimate MVP candidate.
While Golden State has to be thrilled that Durant is finding his way with his new team, Stephen Curry is still trying to figure things out. He’s having an All-Star year, but it’s far from where he was last year when he was named the league’s first ever unanimous MVP. He’s still getting acclimated to Durant.
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Curry has set the bar extremely high. So high that a season with averaged of 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists is considered a down year. And, compared to what he did during the 2015-16 campaign, it is. Last season was an all-time great that we knew probably couldn’t be replicated.
After coming off a disappointing end to the 2016 season, the Golden State Warriors are once again rolling. They’re sitting on top of the standings, leading in many statistical categories, and placing themselves in position for a third straight Finals run. Despite this, they’re still not where they could be.
Durant has come along faster than most expected. Draymond Green is the front runner for Defensive Player of the Year. Klay Thompson has proven that he’s not sacrificing anything, continuing to fire at will. The reserves have started to settle into their roles.
The only player really struggling to find his way is the two-time MVP. But is he really struggling? Well, yes and no.
For Curry, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. His traditional statistics actually look pretty good though his shooting percentages (especially off the dribble) have dipped to a point of concern. He’s having a good season, but he’s clearly not playing up to his potential.
The superstar point guard is obviously making a concerted effort into making sure the other three stars are in rhythm. In making sure Durant is at home with his new team, he’s sacrificing his own momentum. At first, his struggles were a product of his own deference, but now it has snowballed to the point of an actual struggle.
Curry’s poor performance on Christmas Day against the Cleveland Cavaliers was eye opening. He looked disinterested for most of the game, content with letting Durant carry the load and helpless as Kyrie Irving led his team to victory. He looked like a shell of himself.
The biggest issue with Curry isn’t his poor shooting because he’s good enough to turn it around. He’s the greatest shooter of all-time and now he has more spacing than ever before. His problem has to do with his mentality.
Curry is probably taking a page out of LeBron James’ book and cruising through the regular season. Last year, he won 73 games in the regular season, but couldn’t win a championship. It was a freak injury that derailed Curry, but James’ seven straight Finals appearances prove that there’s value in coasting.
Of course, Curry’s relatively slow first half of the season has people freaking out. Some of it is valid, but a lot of it is overreaction. We’re probably not going to get the Curry from last year, but he’s still an MVP-level talent whose presence instills fear in opponents’ defenses.
No. 30 is the best player to have running point for this team. He’s a future Hall of Fame with an unprecedented skill set that makes the game come easier to his teammates. Just by walking on the court, Curry is a threat that requires special game planning even out to 30+ feet. That’s just how special he is.
The Warriors aren’t going to find another star point guard that’s willing to defer to Durant and Thompson while also possessing the ability to step on a team’s throat at will. Russell Westbrook obviously can’t do that with Durant. James Harden, for as fantastic as he is, would not fit on this team. Neither would Chris Paul or John Wall or Giannis Antetekounmpo.
Rajon Rondo especially wouldn’t. I mean, it’s hard to think of a team that Rondo would fit on. He doesn’t play defense, he stops the ball, he can’t shoot, and he’s awful in the locker room. That’s not a viable option for anyone really. Unless you’re Cavs’ GM David Griffin and you’re reading this then yes, Rondo is amazing and he would make your team so much better than Golden State.
But seriously, Curry is the right man for the job. His struggles are certainly a valid concern, but there’s no reason to believe he’s not going to start hitting ridiculous shots again. He just needs to understand that the team functions better when he attacks and Steve Kerr needs to realize that perhaps he should just let his stars work magic.
Curry is the perfect point guard for Durant. It’s a large reason why he took his talents to the Bay Area. The Warriors aren’t going to trade him, he isn’t part of the problem, and he’s not a fraud. He’s still figuring out his role, he didn’t just forget how to play basketball. He’s extremely talented and
Steph Curry is one of the best players to ever step on a basketball court, has led two of the best teams ever, and will win championships with Durant, Green, and Thompson.