Feb 28 2013 12:32PM

54 Reasons Why Stephen Curry Is NBA's Best Shooter Today


Nathaniel S. Butler(3)/NBAE/Getty Images

1. Didja see Stephen Curry's 54 points Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden? Michael Jordan had his double-nickel in 1995, so I guess Curry had his double-nickle-with-a-penny-back-in-change.

2. That's right, he scored 54 points, making 11-of-13 on 3's, 7-of-15 on 2's and 7-of-7 on 1's.

3. That's more points than anybody has scored in an NBA regulation game this season.

4. Nobody in NBA history has made 11 three-pointers or more in a game and shot a better percentage (.846).

5. Nor has anyone ever scored 50-plus points on 10-plus three-pointers in an NBA game.

6. Nor have they scored 11 three pointers as efficiently in such a wide variety of ways (4-for-5 as a pick-and-roll ballhandler, 3-for-4 as a spot-up shooter, 2-for-2 in transition, 1-for-1 off screens and 1-for-1 in isolation).

7. Did I mention Curry had this .869 true shooting percentage display against the Knicks, who aren't too shabby on D (15th best in NBA)?

8. Curry had the third most points for a Knick opponent in the current Madison Square Garden, only bested by Kobe Bryant's 61 in 2009 and Michael Jordan's 55 in 1995.

9. Oh, yes. And Steph also turned MSG into Studio 54.

10. And he painted the NBA.com shot chart like Andy Warhol would.

11. Simply put, Curry dominates because he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Gotta be the shoes, Money!

12. He dominated the news cycle, so much so, the NBA put phantom slo-mo videos of him immediately after he dropped 54 on the Knicks.

13. "He's as good of a shooter as anybody that's ever played," says his head coach Mark Jackson, who happens to be the former NBA all-time assist king (now ranking third).

14. As his coach says, Curry has earned the right to shimmy dance.

15. He's the best shooter there is today because Jackson's TV analyst catchphrases--"Mama, there goes that man" and "Hand down, man down"--were seemingly invented for Curry and were also being thrown out all over Twitter Wednesday.

16. Because Steph Curry was still trending on Thursday.

17. Did I mention that Curry scored 38 points in his previous game Tuesday night?

18. Curry went 7-of-10 on 3's, 7-of-10 on 2's and 3-of-4 on 1's on Tuesday.

19. Did I mention Curry had this .873 true shooting percentage display Tuesday against the Pacers, who have the NBA's beat defense?

20. So basically, Curry made 18-of-23 three-pointers on back-to-back nights versus the Knicks and Pacers defenses.

21. If you count some of those baskets as moneyball shots, Curry would probably have put up a Three-Point Shootout-winning score of 23 or 24

22. And this hypothetical Three-Point Shootout score was with guys draped all over Curry in hotly-contested games.

23. Nobody has made more three-pointers than Curry this season (177).

24. Nobody this season with 100-make minimums has made 45 percent of his 3s and 90 percent of his free throws like Curry (.460 on 3's and .906 on free throws).

25. Nobody in NBA history who has made 3.0 three-pointers per game has had a season shooting the 3 like Curry (Peja Stojakovic in 2007-08 had the next best, with a .441 three-point shooting percentage).

26. For players who have career averages of 19 points and 6 assists, only Magic Johnson in NBA history had better career true shooting percentage numbers (.610) than Curry (.581).

27. And none of those players who had career 19 & 6 averages made 45 percent of field goal attempts and three-point attempts, as well as 90 percent of free throws like Curry.

28. Steph Curry has posted four of the best nine three-point shooting percentage seasons in NBA history for players with at least 2.0 makes per game.

29. Curry and J.R. Smith are the only two players in NBA history who made 150-plus three-pointers in three different seasons by age 24.

30. Of all the players in NBA history who made 500 three-pointers by age 24, Curry has the highest three-point percentage (.447).

31. Curry is one of only five players in NBA history--with 500 free throws minimum--who has a career free-throw percentage of .900 or better (Curry is at .903).

32. Curry, Kevin Durant and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf are the only three players in NBA history to have two separate seasons of shooting .900 free-throw percentages by age 24--with 1.0 makes-per-game minimum.

33. Curry and Abdul-Rauf are the only two 24-and-under players in NBA history to post .900-plus free throw percentages (Curry is .903).

34. Curry, Magic Johnson, Walter Davis, Kevin Johnson and Michael Jordan are the only five guards in NBA history who had .582 or better true shooting percentages--with 500 field goals made--by age 24 (Curry has .583 career TSP).

35. Steve Kerr (.454) is the only player in NBA history--with 500-plus treys--who has a better career three-point shooting percentage than Curry (.451).

36. Steph's father--former Charlotte Hornets sharpshooter Dell Curry (.402)--ranks 19th on those career three-point percentage charts.

37. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (.905), Mark Price (.904), Steve Nash (.903) are the only players in NBA history--with 100-plus free throws--who have a better career free-throw percentage than Curry (.903).

38. Steph's father, Dell, ranks 90th all-time (.843) on those career free-throw percentage charts.

39. We all have probably rooted for Steph to succeed, ever since the back-to-the-future kid told us in that NBA commercial that 12-year-old Steph Curry would become a great shooter like his dad one day.

40. And again, we know Steph is the best shooter today because of this video at MSG--gotta take another look.

41. He's the best shooter today, partly because he breaks other people's ankles instead of his own.

42. And because he doesn't worry about ankle injuries anymore.

43. Because practice makes perfect.

44. Because his shooting is so good nobody has even noticed him becoming an "elite defender."

45. Because Curry made me look good as an NBA observer, asking "best shooter ever" questions two years ago.

46. He is the best because they already named a chicken dish after him.

47. He is awesome because he brought Linsanity back to MSG.

48. Because Steph in a loss can still grab headlines away from Monta in a game-winner.

49. Because Splash Brothers is the coolest nickname for a duo since Bash Brothers.

50. Because little brother Seth Curry at Duke ranks 15th in the NCAA this season in three-point percentage at .437

51. Because Curry's seven-month-old daughter is probably already ready to take on this two-year-old shooting champ.

52. Because Steph is the NBA's favorite son and always makes us feel at home.

53. Because Roy Hibbert has been the only player who can stop him.

54. Because Curry can offer free-throw shooting advice to Rick Barry.

That's why Steph's the best shot in the game.