Shining the Spotlight on the Warriors’ Big Four
Though the Warriors have eclipsed the halfway mark of the 2021-22 campaign, there’s still much to look forward to for the remainder of the NBA season.
The squad has posted the NBA’s second-best record this season, however Dub Nation has yet to witness the Warriors “Big Four” — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins — together on the court, minus a seven-second stint during Klay Thompson’s return game on Jan. 9.
With NBA All-Star voting coming to a close in just a couple days, let’s take a look at the contributions of Curry, Green, Thompson and Wiggins in the 2021-22 season so far.
Long recognized as the best shooter in NBA history, Stephen Curry put a feather in that cap when he passed Ray Allen (2,973) to become the NBA’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers on Dec. 14. Curry has since crossed the 3,000 3-pointer milestone, and is adding to his NBA record total as he also builds his NBA record streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer (currently at 165 and counting).
Among the league leaders, Curry is ranked first in 3-pointers made (196), second in free throw percentage (91.5 percent), and sixth in scoring (26.1 ppg). During the 2021-22 season, Curry scored in double figures in 38 games, posting 40-or-more in five games, 30-or-more in 13 games and 20-or-more in 30. Curry also recorded a season-high 50 points on Nov. 8, one of only five players to have a 50-point game this season.
Curry became the first player in NBA history to hit at least 300 3-pointers in back-to-back seasons (2015-16, 2016-17) and the first player in league history to hit 400 3-pointers in a single season with an NBA-record 402 3-pointers (2015-16).
The two-time MVP has led the league in scoring twice (2015-16, 2020-21) and is on his way to making his eighth All-Star Game appearance, which would match Rick Barry for most All-Star selections in Warriors history. Curry was behind only LeBron James in the most recent fan voting returns, which is worth noting considering the leading vote getter in each conference is awarded the title of All-Star team captain.
In his 10th NBA season, Draymond Green’s impact on the floor far exceeds the numbers on the stat sheet. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, Green has recorded three double-doubles, one triple-double and has led the team in rebounds in 18 games and assists in 20. The three-time NBA champion takes the lead as the franchise’s all-time leader in triple-doubles (31) and among league leaders, Green is tied for ninth in assists per game (7.4 apg) this season, and tied for first in that category among non-guards.
The power forward is one of only five players with at least three NBA championships and two Olympic gold medals, joining Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
Green was previously named NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2016-17), becoming the first player in franchise history to earn the honor. Over the course of his career, Green has acquired three NBA All-Star honors (2016, 2017, 2018) along with six NBA All-Defensive Team selections (2014-15 through 2018-2019 seasons, 2020-21). Green became the first player in franchise history to earn All-Defensive First Team honors in three-straight campaigns (2014-15 through 2016-17) and the only Warriors player in franchise history to be named to the All-Defensive Team five consecutive years (2014-15 through 2018-19).
Beyond the honors, Green’s impact on the team can be most noted where it matters most — wins and losses. In games where Green has played, the Dubs are 28-5 when Green plays, and 4-7 when he doesn’t — Green is currently sidelined with a back injury and will be out at least another week. Furthermore, the Dubs outscore their opponents by 9.5 points per 100 possession when Green is on the court, which is top 10 net rating in the NBA.
After making his return on Jan. 9 following a 941-day hiatus, Klay Thompson has played in five games during the 2021-22 season, averaging 15.2 points and three rebounds in that span. In his first game back after missing two-and-a-half years due to injuries, Thompson recorded 17 points, three rebounds and one block in 20 minutes of play. The Warriors guard is the only player in NBA history who had at least four All-Star nominations and missed over 170 consecutive regular season games due to injury before returning to play for the same team.
Thompson posted in double figures over the last five games played, with the three-time NBA champion recently leading all scorers with 21 points in a 102-86 win over the Pistons.
In his eight seasons with the Warriors, the five-time NBA All-Star (2014-15 through 2018-19) has appeared in 615 career games (578 starts), averaging 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range in 33.1 minutes per game.
Since joining the Warriors in 2019, Andrew Wiggins has continued to demonstrate versatility and consistency in his ninth NBA season. Wiggins has been playing both ends of the court as a consistent offensive threat and a defensive standout for the Warriors, with the forward shooting a career-high 49.1 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from 3-point range, averaging 18.5 points and 4.2 rebounds on the 2021-22 season.
Wiggins has led the Warriors in scoring in five games over the 2021-22 campaign, posting double figures in 40 games, 30-or-more points in two games and 20-or-more points in 14 games. Among league leaders, Wiggins is tied for 12th in 3-point field goal percentage and tied for sixth in contested 3-point shots (148) on the season.
The 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year has yet to add All-Star to his career resume, but the most recent fan voting returns has Wiggins as third among Western Conference frontcourt players. The fan vote accounts for 50 percent of the say of who will start the All-Star Game, and the other half will be determined by NBA players (25 percent) and media (25 percent), with each ballot consisting of two guards and three frontcourt platers from each conference.
The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is set for Feb. 20 in Cleveland, and fans can submit their votes for the game’s starters until 9 p.m. this Saturday.
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