When information broke final Friday that Seth Curry had examined optimistic for the coronavirus, reactions had been break up. On one facet, you had Philadelphia 76ers followers bemoaning the lack of a key participant. On the opposite, you had all of the doomscrollers who had scanned over that Woj bomb too rapidly and assumed Steph Curry was the sick one. Boy, are we – I imply they relieved.
No disrespect to Seth, who was having his greatest month as a professional earlier than being compelled into quarantine. It’s simply that, nicely, his brother Steph is being Steph once more. After lacking all however 5 video games of the bubble season with a damaged finger, the two-time MVP has been below appreciable strain to supply for a Golden State Warriors outfit that’s been down on nuclear-grade firepower since Kevin Durant took his abilities to Brooklyn and Klay Thompson tore his achilles after lacking all of final season with an ACL tear. A lesser expertise may need buckled below such pressure. However Curry has accomplished simply the alternative.
By way of the season’s first 10 video games, Curry trailed solely Washington’s Bradley Beal in scoring with 28.6 factors per sport – a determine boosted in massive measure by an distinctive three-point capturing contact that, today it appears, owes much less to patrilineal ties to Charlotte Hornets all-time scoring chief Dell Curry than to tens of hundreds of hours of reps within the fitness center.
Simply this previous Boxing Day, Curry made himself a trending subject after making a staggering 105 straight threes after apply – resulting in the inevitable ribbing from his coach. (“He choked,” cracked Steve Kerr, nonetheless the NBA’s all-time chief in three-point proportion. “Couldn’t make the 106th one.”) Eight days later Curry avenged a loss to Portland on his dwelling flooring by lighting up the Blazers for a career-best 62 factors in a scant 36 minutes, capturing practically as precisely from contained in the arc (18 of 31) as outdoors (eight of 16). 5 days after that towards the Clippers, Curry led the Warriors to a livid comeback win, capturing 9 of 14 from deep towards fixed double protection.
Curry isn’t simply catching and capturing or letting ‘em rip from simply inside half courtroom. He scores in visitors, off screens, with that mended left hand. Towards Portland he gave Damian Lillard, who set his personal scoring document with 61 factors towards the Dubs final January, all of the work he might deal with whereas clapping again at critics who’ve dared say the Blazers’ All-Star level guard is best. Outstanding within the Greek refrain of Curry doubters is the previous workaday heart Channing Frye who, on his first-rate podcast, questioned whether or not the Warriors sharpshooter could possibly be thought-about a really nice participant if he fails to pull his shorthanded group again to the NBA finals. “You already know the Jordan meme?” Curry stated after the sport. “I take all that personally.”
As nicely he ought to. If ever there have been a dominant participant with an unimpeachable resume, it’s Curry – a repeat MVP and three-time NBA champion whose playoff victory over the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder would immediate that Durant man to modify sides. What’s extra, he may need gained two extra rings if Durant and Thompson didn’t go down within the 2019 finals and his 73-win juggernaut didn’t quit a 3-1 finals lead in 2016. There’s no query Curry has overachieved for a 6ft 3in wisp of a expertise who fell to seventh general spot within the 2009 draft behind the likes of Jonny Flynn, Ricky Rubio and Tyreke Evans. Curry has additional dominated on the subsequent stage by mastering the sport’s most far-out shot.
Whereas Kerr made a complete of 726 threes over the course of his 16 professional seasons at a forty five.4% charge, Curry, the sixth-most exact longball chucker in league historical past, had sunk 2,537 threes at a 43.3% clip as of this writing, and figures to overhaul Reggie Miller in second place on the overall makes checklist by season’s finish. Much more spectacular: Curry is the one participant among the many league’s most correct distance shooters to common greater than 15.4 factors for his profession. Not solely has Curry by no means been shackled to a situational position in the best way shooters of his ilk are usually, however one might simply see him taking such an project to maintain taking part in into his 40s a la Vince Carter. Heck, that’s basically the position to which Seth Curry had been relegated earlier than an eighth-year promotion in Philly – the place he was averaging a personal-best 17 factors and a league-leading 59.5% from deep earlier than Dat Rona pulled him out of the lineup – and he’s two years youthful than Steph.
And but: by some means, hoops skeptics nonetheless aren’t fairly certain what to make of the Splash Brother. They’ll’t name him the most effective scorer as a result of it slights Jordan. They’ll’t name him the most effective level guard as a result of it slights Magic and Isiah. In order that they name him the most effective shooter, which barely scratches the floor. Ray Allen was an incredible shooter. Steph Curry is a strolling, speaking cheat code whose past, sure, past full-court vary actually created house for the NBA’s present offensive growth occasions. He’s proper up there with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who precipitated the dunk to be outlawed when he was nonetheless Lew Alcindor), George Mikan (who ushered in the three-second rule) and Wilt Chamberlain (who widened the lane). Twenty years from now, after a four-point line or Rock N’ Jock-style marker has been standardized, we’re all gonna be speaking about how Curry – not LeBron – must be the NBA’s all-time scoring chief.
It was, after all, nonetheless enjoyable watching Jamal Murray and Luka Dončić gentle up the scoreboard and make vital playoff runs whereas Curry was on the mend. And it’s been attention-grabbing to see Lillard and James Harden stake their respective claims to being the quickest gun within the West. However when Curry is cooking, maaan, there isn’t a lot that rivals it for spectacle. He’ll make you click on away from the NFL playoff sport, or observe him on a second display screen. He’ll make you gasp as he buries a 40-footer in transition or sinks a half-court shot on the buzzer. Some nights he’ll do all of it with a genial, mouthguard-grinding smile that makes his mind-bending physics lesson appear to be the stuff of Sesame Avenue. And on others, like Sunday evening towards the Raptors, he’ll maintain preventing by horrible slumps.
In a world the place unhealthy information rolls in on the half-second, not least the mounting variety of Covid circumstances which have stricken the NBA because it insisted on taking play outdoors the Disney bubble, there’s appreciable consolation in being dazzled by a person throwing a ball right into a hoop again and again from all corners of your TV set, keen his once-vaunted franchise again up the mountain. If that doesn’t make him a bona fide hoops god or, failing that, knock down Allen Iverson because the league’s final pound-for-pound famous person, it on the very least makes Curry the sickest participant dribbling proper now. Not Seth Curry sick, after all. No, the opposite form of sick the place solely the contagion danger is a giddy enthusiasm for an otherworldly performer who could be pushing past the height of his superior powers. To make sure, it’s not the form of factor you need to scroll previous too rapidly.