The spotlight is always on Stephen Curry, and nobody handles it better. Using SportsVU data and analyses and graphics provided by MOCAP Analytics, here’s a closer look at perhaps the most impactful player in the game.
On one of the best teams in NBA history, he’s the star that shines brightest. His pre-game warm-up routine alone is worth the price of admission. And now, he’s officially the league’s Most Valuable Player. The spotlight is always on Stephen Curry, and nobody handles it better. Using SportsVU data and analyses and graphics provided by MOCAP Analytics, here’s a closer look at perhaps the most impactful player in the game.
Offensive Strength: The NBA's Best Playmaker
Arguably the greatest shooter to ever play, Curry broke his own single-season three-point record and set a new one with 286 made three-pointers this season. His shooting versatility is unmatched, scoring more than five points per game off pull-up 3-pointers (42.3%) and five points per game off catch-and-shoot 3-pointers (48.6%). And we all know he has “hallway” range:
Like all of the NBA’s great passers, Curry stays one step ahead of the defense by quickly reading coverages, recognizing where help is coming from, and spotting the open man. He throws lobs, one-handed whip passes, behind-the-back dimes, and creates easy looks for his teammates in transition. Take a look this assortment of passes from March:
Everybody in the building knows Curry will knock down a jumper or get to the basket if given just a sliver of daylight. At 6’3” and with all the defensive attention on him, it’s his incredible ball handling skills that allow him to create space for himself off the bounce.
Signature Move: Stepback Jumper
If there ever was a signature MVP moment, it was when Curry weaved through four Clippers, with the ball seemingly on a yo-yo, and nailed an impossible stepback three-pointer from the top of the arc. He’s so light on his feet, and so quick to raise up off the bounce, it allows him to trick opponents (sometimes four of them) into leaning the wrong way to create space and fill up the scoreboard.
Similar Offensive Styles: Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry
Now more than ever, the NBA is a point guard league. Without an above-average player at the position, teams stand relatively zero chance of making a serious championship run. Curry is now the preeminent star at the position, and it’s no coincidence that he shares similarities with some of the league’s other top point guards, particularly Damian Lillard and Kyle Lowry. All three players are willing three-point shooters, both off the bounce and in catch-and-shoot scenarios. They exhibit similar rates of getting into the paint and can all create for themselves. However, Curry, at least at this point, is the better off-ball attacker and playmaker. Lillard sees plenty of success with his stepback jumper, while Lowry’s pull-up jumper has proven to be an effective attack. However, they pale in comparison to Curry, who tops them both in each category - but then again, he does that to basically everyone.
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