Stephen Curry, already widely considered the best shooter in NBA history, ceases to amaze night after night on the NBA court.
An explosive start to the season, individually and as a team, Curry’s legacy continues to grow. If it weren’t for Kevin Durant, no one would doubt that Curry is the MVP, but even considering KD, the Warriors superstar seems to have a distinct advantage.
Given his level of play, this question is valid: Are we facing the best version of Stephen Curry?
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The fact that this discussion may even crop up is a testament to the greatness we’ve seen from Curry so far this season. And while it would be difficult to answer the question above after only a quarter of a season, it is possible to compare his stats.
How does this Stephen Curry compare to the one from his unanimous MVP season or his first MVP season? We’ll see.
Stephen Curry Stats & MVP Comparison
|Season||Pts||REB||AST||% FG||3:00 p.m. M.||3P%||TS%||Record|
From the issues above, a couple of things are clear about the current version:
- It far exceeds that of MVP’s first year in 2014-15.
- He goes head-to-head with the unanimous MVP season in 2015-16.
During the 2015-16 season, his points count was 640 (compared to 556) with an efficiency of 52.4 percent (compared to 45.1 percent). In the current season, while he’s scoring less with lower efficiency compared to the 2015-16 season, he’s shooting more 3s and grabbing more rebounds.
He recently broke his own record for the fewest games required to hit 100 3-pointers.
Fastest player to reach 100 triples in a single season:
1. Stephen Curry – 2023-22 (19 games)
2. Stephen Curry – 2015-16 (20 games)
3. Stephen Curry – 2018-19 (20 games) pic.twitter.com/QUeQWPBXUP
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) November 28, 2023
His 105 3-pointers surpass his mark of 102 and 101 he set in the 2015-16 and 2018-19 seasons in 20 games, respectively, according to Stathead. Now, let’s go to the team record.
The 17-3 start falls short compared to the 18-2 start in 2014-15 and the 20-0 start in the 2015-16 season. In fact, last season, the Warriors started the season off with a 24-0 start and ultimately set the best record in NBA history 73-9. Does this mean that the 2015-16 season has an advantage here? What might be a small omen for the San Francisco franchise is that in MVP’s two years, they made it to the NBA Finals, taking home the championship in 2015.
Stephen Curry 3s Scored & Total Projected
|Season||Triples||3P%||Total triples per season||Final 3P%|
- Led the NBA in the season | (**) Played 26 games due to injuries | (***) Played 5 games due to injury
- Considering the first 20 games of the 2023-22 season, Curry is well on his way to breaking his NBA record of 402 3-pointers in a single season, a mark he set during his unanimous MVP season. Following his current season average, he is projected to win around 437 if he plays all the remaining games (81 for the season).
Is that realistic? Barring his two injury-stricken seasons, Curry has played an average of 73 games in the past and the projection for those many games is 394 3-pointers.
- Final averages of MVP seasons
- 2014-15: 23.8 points (48.7 FG%, 44.3 3P%), 4.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 32.7 minutes in 80 GP (final record of 67- 5, 81.7%)
- 2015-16: 30.1 points (50.4% shooting from the field, 45.4% 3P), 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals in 34.2 minutes in 79 GP (final record of 73-9, 89.0%)
2021-22: 27.8 points (45.2% shots from the field, 41.2% shots from the field), 5.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.8 steals in 34.3 minutes in 20 GP (record of the 18-3 team, 85.7%)
- In the 2023-22 season, Curry is following a similar path to his unanimous year: a game of at least 50 points (53 in 2015 against New Orleans, 50 in 2023 against Atlanta) and four in total with at least 40 points. .
- With four games of at least nine triples (during the first 15 games), Curry has amassed 38 in his career, which is the best of all time by a long margin. The next best is nine, held by James Harden and Damian Lillard. Plus, it has more games with at least triples than the next six on the list combined.
- Curry is on track to break Allen’s all-time record for triples. Through 20 games, he is 34 of Allen’s NBA record of 2,973 career 3-pointers in the regular season. Curry is already the all-time leader in 3-pointers made in the postseason.
- Curry has racked up at least 145 games with at least one triple, the second longest streak in NBA history that is only behind his own record of 157. You have to go back to November 8, 2018 to find the last one. game that he managed. did not make a triple.
- It’s not just about the score. Curry, so far, has registered five games with at least 10 assists in his first 15 games. In his unanimous MVP season, he only had one double-digit assist game early on, while he had four during the 2014-15 season.
- And it bounces too. Curry has recorded two double-digit rebounding games in the first 15 games of the 2023-22 season, one of them part of a triple-double. In his two MVP seasons, he had two combined double-digit rebounding games in his first 15 games.
The ridiculousness of his triples is defined by their effectiveness. He has stayed above 40 percent despite his attempts skyrocketing for the first 20 games: 149 attempts in 2014-15, 222 in 2015-16, 262 in 2023-22.
This is where the current version of Curry gets the upper hand despite the fact that during his unanimous season, he led his team to the league’s best all-time record of 73-9.
There are some common denominators in these three Curry seasons from a team point of view: Steve Kerr as a coach, Draymond Green as a defensive mainstay and Andre Iguodala as the seasoned veteran off the bench. That said, there are two substantial differences.
Iguodala shone in those early years. In fact, he was Finals MVP in 2015, while now playing the role of a limited-minute veteran from the bench whose mark is made more for his locker room impact. The other? Klay Thompson was healthy and had his first two All-Star picks at the time, while now awaiting his return after more than two years of rehab.
There are certain similarities. Harrison Barnes was the face of the non-big 3 players on those teams, while in 2023 he is Andrew Wiggins. The Canadian’s role grows in the current squad alongside the appearance of Jordan Poole, who has helped the team deal with Thompson’s absence.
The rest of the supporting cast is different, but just like the other seasons, these young players also understand their role and maximize it. Back then, it was Andrew Bogut, Shaun Livingston, Marreese Speights, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, and a small stretch of David Lee as the most recognizable faces. Right now, they are Kevon Looney, Damion Lee, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Gary Payton II.
In both cases, there has been a solid mix of experience and youth. At the time, the Big 3 core was entering its age 25-27 and the veterans were the role players. Six years later, the Big 3 have grown in age but have not dropped in performance, while the majority of the supporting cast is under 30 (Poole is 22, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody are 19).
With Fanduel for reference, here’s a look at what the betting experts have to say about the MVP’s career. Early 2023-22: +800 to win MVP.
Curry shared third place along with Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, behind Joel Embiid (+700) and Luka Doncic, who was the favorite at +200. Currently: +150 to earn MVP.
Yes, Steph jumped to the top of the betting list, with Durant in second place (+500) and Giannis (+700) and Jokic (+1300) behind him. Early 2014-2015: +4000 to win MVP.
Yes, the odds were not with him before the start, but the players who were ahead of the final result did damage. Early 2015-2016: +650 to win MVP.
Safe bet, right?