If you're a fan of the NBA and have been tuned in since the All-Star break, you may have heard about the demise of Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry.
Curry, who has become a three-point shooting superhero of sorts during his rise to the top, has seemingly lost his powers since the All-Star break.
Have no fear, wary citizens in need of a hero. The reports of Curry's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Here's why Steph continues to be the hero Golden State needs, even if he isn't splashing three after three.
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He's still getting buckets
Curry is many things, but a one-trick pony he is not. There's more than one way to score a basketball, and while Steph is undoubtedly very good at shooting from deep, he's not limited to that.
He's one of the best basketball players in the world, of course he's still finding a way to score.
Even though his three-point shot is off the mark, he's still averaging 25.9 points per game over the eight games the Warriors have played since the All-Star break. Most teams would kill to have a player putting up that kind of scoring production.
Steph's moved his game in closer to the basket with his outside shot not falling, finishing around the rim at a greater rate. When one door closes another one opens, and the fact remains that Curry is a threat from deep even when he's gone cold.
Defenders have to play him on the perimeter no matter what, and with the extra attention he gets at the three-point line, he can take advantage of defenders by looking to score inside instead.
It's not that bad, anyway
Curry has attempted an average of 11 three-pointers per game since the All-Star break, slightly above his season average of 9.9 attempts per game.
That's a huge workload, even for a three-point marksman like Curry. Part of the reason for that may be that he's making up for the loss of Kevin Durant, who is out with a knee injury. Durant averaged five three-point attempts per game prior to the injury.
Curry is shooting 31.8 percent from deep since All-Star weekend, down eight percent from his season average. It's a significant dip, sure, but it's still an impressive number considering just how many shots he's putting up from three-point land.
It's also a small sample size of eight games. People performing in any profession hit cold streaks. The downward trend eventually comes to a stop, things look up and all becomes right once again.
The Warriors have won five of their eight post All-Star games, are still in position to carry the No. 1 seed into the NBA Playoffs, and have plenty of talent to make up for a few off games from Curry.
The reason it's so jarring to watch Steph "struggle" is he's set the bar so high, for so long, with such consistency since he took the NBA by storm. It's really not as big of a deal as it's being painted as to begin with.
The small things
Curry's a wizard with the basketball in his hands, one of the most underrated aspects of his game. His dribble moves are impressive, and his ball fakes and nuance in how he misdirects defenses make him a phenomenal passer.
He's averaging 5.8 assists per game since All-Star weekend, setting up his teammates just fine even if his shot isn't dropping at the ridiculous rate it typically does. It's easy to forget so many of his highlights aren't three-point shooting, but insane passes that make his defenders look silly.
Curry's also getting it done on the defensive end, averaging 2.3 steals per game during his "downward" spiral. It's important for Curry to make an impact even when he's not shredding the net, and the numbers reflect that he's still doing just that.
The Warriors are outscoring opponents by an average of 11.8 points per 100 possessions while Curry's on the court since All-Star passed, according to data available on NBA.com. Further, the Warriors offense is scoring 28 points per 100 possessions less when he's on the bench.
Clearly he's not detracting from the Warriors' success, and that's because he's more than a three-point shooting robot. He's an all-around NBA cyborg designed to terrorize defenses, even when his perimeter shooting calibration needs some troubleshooting.
It's natural for people to overreact to cold stretches, and watching Curry struggle is such a rare thing it's gathering serious attention.
Anybody who thinks he's useless without his three-point shooting, or that the Warriors are in any sort of long-term trouble, will feel silly once Steph finds wherever it is he misplaced his cape.