The NBA has seen prolific three-point shooters before, but few if any have ever made the kind of impact on the game that Stephen Curry has.
The rise of the Golden State Warriors followed the arc of Curry's shot, rising high into the sky before swishing through the lace. Nothing but net. He's lead the NBA in made three-point field goals through four different seasons, the most ever notched by a single player.
Curry's knocked down 1,917 three-pointers in his career, putting him in the top-10 all-time already. He's still over 1,000 away from Ray Allen's all-time record of 2,972, but Steph still has plenty of time to continue his climb. That's great news for the Warriors.
The points Curry puts on the board when he splashes a three are great, and one of the many reasons why they've housed one of the most efficient and dominant offenses the NBA has ever seen during their back-to-back-to-back NBA Finals runs.
The "hidden" effect of having a shooter like Curry on the floor is how much attention defenses have to give him. That's something advanced statisticians are calling "gravity" in today's NBA, essentially a way to state how much a single player pulls a defense's focus on himself when he's playing.
That's measurable by accounting for true shooting percentages, which are considered the most accurate way to quantify the efficiency of a player shooting the ball. The difference in true shooting percentage for Steph's teammates when he's on the floor, compared to when he's off, is insane.
This chart, created by David Morrow of Def Pen Hoops, is a great way to see the change in a very clear way:
As defenses have to commit extra attention to a player like Curry, that leaves other teammates in a more effective position to score, thus raising their true shooting percentage. The chart above shows how every single player, except for David West, see an improvement in their shooting when Curry is playing.
Isn't the same true for other stars, though? Yes, definitely, but it's not nearly as drastic as Curry. Here's the same chart for James Harden:
And Chris Paul:
While all three certainly help their teammates, and these statistics aren't the end-all-be-all, none come close to the level Curry improves his team. Coincidentally, the closest player to having Curry's impact is on his own team: Kevin Durant:
Clearly the Warriors are a black hole of doom, waiting to destroy the very fabric of the NBA one three-pointer at a time.