But I will say this: Steph Curry is better at basketball right now than any human has ever been before.
The following was true after the game before Curry's epic performance on Saturday night in Oklahoma City:
Steph Curry has 4 career games of 50+ Pts while making 10+ 3-pointers.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 26, 2016
The rest of the NBA - EVER - has 3. pic.twitter.com/wpdElfhl2O
Now here are a few of the things Curry accomplished on Saturday:
Another day at the office. pic.twitter.com/zLGLTNNK1W— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2016
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):
In all the Curry insanity, it appears to be lost that Warriors also clinched a playoff spot faster than any team ever ('86 Celtics, Feb 28).— Mark Vandeusen (@LucidSportsFan) February 28, 2016
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:
Something else under the radar, Curry's 12-16 night = best three-point performance ever:— Mark Vandeusen (@LucidSportsFan) February 28, 2016
Kobe in '03: 12-18
Donyell Marshall in '05: 12-19
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?
In my day no one shot from 30 feet because what the hell that's totally insane.— Paul Flannery (@Pflanns) February 28, 2016
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.
If you put Steph Curry on any NBA team, I think that team becomes the title favorite. He's transcending the game of basketball.— Mark Vandeusen (@LucidSportsFan) February 28, 2016