What’s the best way to stop Stephen Curry? Constantly sending double teams your way? Defend him with a physically imposing forward instead of a guard? Lock him in a closet and throw away the key?
No, you just play the Warriors star on Christmas Day.
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Curry is a two-time MVP, a three-time NBA champion and a future Hall of Famer, but he becomes a mere mortal when he takes the floor on December 25. In eight career games on that date, Curry is averaging just 13.1 points while shooting 30.2 percent from the field and 20.4 percent from 3-point range. To put those numbers in perspective, Curry averaged 24.3 points in 791 career games on 47.5 percent shooting from the field and 43.1 percent shooting from three points.
|Christmas day*||Points||FG-FGA||3PT FG-3PT FGA||Win or lose?|
|Averages||13.1||35-116 (30.2%)||10-49 (20.4%)||3-5|
* Missed the 2017 and 2019 Christmas Day games due to injuries.
In his last appearance on Christmas Day, a 138-99 loss to the Bucks, Curry scored 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting and finished with a low of under 24 games. He has never scored more than 20 points on December 25 and has failed to score more than two 3-pointers in any game on that date.
Curry has a total of 10 3-point field goals in those eight games. During his career, Curry has scored at least 10 3-pointers in a single game on 22 different occasions.
“It’s been tough,” Curry said of his performances on Christmas Day after a 2018 loss to the Lakers. “I really do not know.”
Can Curry finally get out of his Christmas mood this year in a showdown against the Suns? Well, it could be challenging for multiple reasons.
First, Curry will likely lose important teammates. Klay Thompson is reportedly not returning until January. Andre Iguodala has been dealing with a knee problem. Damion Lee, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins are currently in the league’s health and safety protocols. A limited Warriors rotation means all eyes will be on Curry, so he may be forced to take some tough shots that come out of the typical offensive flow.
And then there is the opponent. The Suns have the second-best defensive rating in the league behind only the Warriors, and they have the personnel to make life difficult for Curry. Phoenix led Curry to the worst shooting night of his career in a 104-96 victory on November 30. Mikal Bridges in particular upset Curry with his elite combination of length and speed.
Steph just had the worst shooting night of his career, including the playoffs (min 20 FGA).
3-14 3P pic.twitter.com/EYYgriqMwZ
– StatMuse (@statmuse) December 1, 2021
If Curry is looking for good news, at least Christmas Day only comes once a year!