Dec 6 2012 1:11PM

Curry Is D Man


Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Stephen Curry may or may not be the best young, shooter in basketball today, but he is quietly earning the reputation as one of the top defensive point guards in the game.

Did you see his end-of-contest, game-winning draw of a charge call on Chris Paul in the Warriors' win over the Clippers last month?

Did you notice how his W's came up with wins over teams with top point guards like the Cavs, Clips and Nets?

Mark Jackson raved about Curry’s D last month--calling Curry an "elite defender"--while his point guard deflected the praise, giving new center Andrew Bogut much of the credit for the Warriors' improvement on D.

The best evidence of that is seeing Golden State rank 12th in defensive efficiency—a mark much better than their bottom-five finishes in D the past four seasons.

But I love pointing out how Curry has always been able to play D, as long as his injury-prone ankles support him. His +0.93 defensive RAPM ranks among the best point guards.

People are used to Curry’s shooting prowess, as well they should be. No other point guard with 3000-plus minutes--outside of Steve Nash--has a better three-year true shooting percentage than Curry (.590).

But if the Warriors begin to play Top 10 D, then we might have to start considering Curry for All-Defense honors.

Shoot!, maybe we should just upgrade that statement to All-NBA status.

That three-year 19.5 PER and +3.76 RAPM are pretty tough to beat. If Curry can just stay on the floor--not miss 40 games like last season--and lead his team to playoff contention, it may be time for all to start recognizing Curry as one of the game's best.