Sunday, February 28, 2016

No one has ever been better at basketball than Steph Curry is right now

I'm not saying Stephen Curry is the greatest basketball player of all time--he's going to have to keep doing what he's doing for many more years and win a few more championships in order to take that title away from Michael Jordan (although as I suggested back in December, I do think it's going to happen).

But I will say this: Steph Curry is better at basketball right now than any human has ever been before.

Here's why:

The following was true after the game before Curry's epic performance on Saturday night in Oklahoma City:

Now here are a few of the things Curry accomplished on Saturday:

On top of tying the league record for three-pointers in a game and breaking his own record for total threes in a season (with 24 games to go, by the way--that's 29 percent of the season remaining) on the same day, Curry's 53-5 Warriors also clinched a postseason berth Saturday (February 27):

Golden State is one game ahead of the pace set by Jordan's 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, who won an NBA record 72 games (72-10).

Back to Curry, not only did he tie the record for most triples in a game, he also shot 75 percent from deep while doing it:

Here's a look at all 12 of those three-pointers:

This is the beginning of my case as to why Curry is better than anyone we've ever seen before.  It's not as if he hit 12 open threes--by my count, eight of his 12 treys were shots most players shouldn't even be taking.  Watch this one in particular, in which Curry was several feet behind the three-point line and tightly guarded by seven-footer Steven Adams:

And how about this:

What's crazy to me is not that he's made half his shots from 30+ feet (even though the league average is 7.9 percent) but rather the fact that he's taken 22 and connected on 11 of them.  The three-point line is 23'9"--who shoots from outside of 30 feet?

And that gets to the crux of my argument, Curry's preposterous game-winner on Saturday.  But before I delve into that, take a look at this legendary performance from Larry Bird in 1988 (jump to the 1:17 mark for Bird's Curry-like moment):

Bird's heroics are child's play compared to Curry's:

Here are a several more angles:

A few things are important when breaking this play down:

- When the Warriors got the ball with just under seven seconds left, they had a timeout, but didn't bother to use it.
- The game was tied so they didn't need a three-pointer, and Curry released the ball with nearly three full seconds remaining.  He had plenty of time to get closer and take what most people would think is a much higher-percentage shot.
- Afterwards, Curry said he pulled up from where he did because he wanted to make sure to shoot before the defender picked him up--the distance he was from the hoop wasn't a factor.

Curry makes shots with ease that other players don't even of taking.  For everyone else on the planet (and throughout history), that was a stupid shot to attempt in that situation.  But for Steph Curry, it wasn't.


  1. Hes good. No doubt. That said I dont remember old players clamoring about rules when talking about Jordan. He got knocked for titles at first. Then it was obvious he had it all. Steph is a product of his era. Sure hed likely be greatest shooter of any era and can go bananas but hes no Jordan. Dont be prisoner of the moment. LeBron compares unfavorably to Bird at this point in career statswise yet a few years ago people were saying he was going to best ever. Same with Kobe and now that hes finally putting his career to bed hes barely top ten. Expect more from you sir.

  2. The difference between steph and jordan is similar to what will forever separate babe ruth from any baseball player for the forseeable future. Ruth, a frigging cy young winner, would have been one of the greatest pitchers of all time. So whenever the next ped bonds ascends to his offensive status he still wont overcome that pitching award. Likewise Jordan was dominant even when he wasnt scoring. He was the best defender in the league that included all time great defenders like payton and mutumbo and even teammates rodman and pippen. Couple of other points, in the future when you think steph has scored enough and won enough to be in the conversation... take those old timers points into consideration. Jordan as has been said when compared to lebron would not have averaged 36 today he might have averaged 50. Everybody thay played with him knows that. Steph would have still scored a lot in the 80s but hed be playing a big (strong) guard every night and the idea hed simply blow by them and finish in the lane is so humorous because people forget the kind of contact waiting for him. Flagrant one and twos now were simply defending the rim then. Hed last half as long as iverson did... if that. Finally bird, dirk, kerr, whoever didnt need to shoot from 33 feet. For different reasons they all were able to get off shots much closer... curry as you mentioned chooses to because he knows hed be open. If a globetotter can master half court hook shots pretty sure if bird had to rely on shots that deep hed master it too. As for curry, in the 80s hed be shooting a lot more shots like that because thats the only way hed be open. Its fun when players ho off and get hot... but lets not loose sight of reality. He really is a product of his era amd while likely an all star in the 80s his skills then would diminish while jordans skills today wouldnt be fair. Its really not close. A basketball writer like yourself should see that and agree withe oldtimers.

    1. All the world's top athletes are better than they were 30 years ago. Curry would do just fine in the 80s NBA. He makes shots when he's not open, the era he plays in has nothing to do with that.


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