Point guard Stephen Curry was named MVP of the regular season today, becoming the first Warrior to receive the honor since Wilt Chamberlain in 1960. Curry has been dazzling during the entire season. He led Golden State to a historic 67-win season, providing plenty of highlight moments in the process.
Curry might be already considered one of the best shooters the game has ever seen, and he put his long-range shooting skills on full display this year. He broke his own all-time NBA record, making 286 three-pointers, while shooting 44% from behind the arc. He was especially efficient from downtown above the break, making 42% of his shots (versus the league average of 34%).
He ended the regular season averaging 23.8 points per game, sixth most in the NBA. Time and time again, Curry’s fooled his defenders with ankle-breaking moves to create his own shot and he is arguably the best shooter off the dribble in the league today. But the baby-faced assassin is more than a scorer and an marvelous ball-handler alone – he finished the season as the sixth-best passer with 7.7 assists per game.
The Warriors have been fantastic all season, blowing out games in thunderous fashion, resulting in a historic point differential of 10.1 per game. Somehow, over the entire season, the Warriors were outscored during the moments Stephen Curry was on the bench and their offensive rating drops from an astounding 116.6 to an average 102.3 when he is not on the floor. His impact for his team at the offensive end can simply not be overstated.
But not only on offense is his impact enormous. This season, he was fourth in the league in steals (2.04 per game) and his defense has improved exponentially since coming into the NBA. The Warriors boast a team with numerous excellent defenders with the likes of Bogut, Green and Thompson, and are – as a unit – the best defensive team in the NBA. It shows that Curry had an impact on this side of the floor as well. Opponents during the regular season did not play as well offensively when he was on the floor defending their ball-handlers.
In all, Curry was the best player on the best team this season and his role within the Warriors line-up has proved to be pivotal on both sides of the floor; that makes him a well-deserved MVP this season. With Curry, fans get style and substance. He is confident, humble and outspoken, but a fierce competitor on the court. It’s hard not to like him, and his dribbles and 30-foot bombs just make you love basketball a little more. He is expected to receive the MVP trophy before game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies in front of an ecstatic Bay Area crowd, and I will be watching as well.