Steph Curry celebrates his 28th birthday today and, given his mastery of sniper-like accuracy on long range bombs, I’m genuinely wondering how far away he’s going to blow his candles out from.
In case you haven’t watched anything NBA related since last October, Curry in the best form of his career. According to Bleacher Report, an NBA player's prime years come between ages 25 and 32, peaking around 27 to 28. So right now, we’re bearing witness to possibly the best version of Steph we will ever see.
With the media frenzy surrounding Steph and his Golden State Warriors this season, there is little you don’t already know about the superstar. You know he’s already smashed his own record for three-pointers in a season, became the first player to make 300 threes in a year and leads the league in scoring with 30.5ppg.
But what you don’t know, or perhaps just don’t yet appreciate is just how incredible Steph’s nightly performances are. Seriously, Curry is putting together an individual season of historic proportions, that will likely go down as one of the greatest ever.
So what makes Steph so unstoppable? In ESPN’s Sport Science, they calculated he can stop from full sprint into a shot in 0.33 seconds. Then, elevate and shoot in 0.4 seconds. With this kind of shot speed, you can see how even after 692(!) attempts so far this year, none – I repeat, NONE have been blocked.
The Baby-Faced Assassin is on track to join the fabled 50-40-90 club. If this achievement wasn’t already impressive enough, just remember that Steph is taking a mammoth 11 three’s a game.
It’s got to the point now where Curry is so good from deep that there is a nightly expectation for him break the NBA record for three’s in a game – which, as you know, he now holds jointly with Donyell Marshall and Kobe Bryant.
Of course, Steph has his detractors – you can’t please everyone one all of the time. But the stats don’t lie. His player efficiency rating is currently 32.2, on course for the best ever. No one has ever sustained over 32 for an entire season. The closest you’ll get is 31.82, from Wilt Chamberlain in 1962-63… when he averaged 44.8 points and 24.3 rebounds.
So he’s already playing at a level that is ahead of anything in the history books so far. But the game has changed, right? Modern players are better than their historic counterparts, the training, coaching, skills and facilities have all evolved significantly. So comparing now to then is unfair. I hear you. So let’s look at how he compares to his peers.
Steph leads the league in offensive win shares at 11.3. His nearest rival is Kevin Durant with 8.8. If that wasn’t enough, his offensive rating of 125.6 points per 100 possessions puts him second in the league and the only guard in the top five.
I could go on. Of the huge range of statistical measures available to dissect almost every aspect of the game, Steph is top of more lists than any other player and features near the top of many others too.
And for those detractors out there, still not convinced - I know who will point to his supposed lack of defense… to paraphrase an old adage, the best form of defense is attack. And boy can Steph attack.