The point guard is an evolving position in today’s NBA. As more teams adapt Mike D’Antoni’s offensive philosophy of fast paced offenses, explosive scoring point guards are becoming a necessity in the NBA. This as resulted in many offenses featuring their first scoring option as their point guard. This offensive philosophy used to cause many NBA critics to consider Allen Iverson a shooting guard. In today’s NBA, many deem it a necessity which is why guys like Rajon Rondo are not as respected as they used to be. Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Steph Curry and James Harden are each relied upon to be top producers on their teams. While NBA fans continue to argue and debate who the best point guard is, a debate usually between James Harden and Russell Westbrook, I’m here to settle the debate for you: Steph Curry is still the best point guard in the NBA.
What many NBA fans fail to realize is that the Golden State Warriors run a form of Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Steve Kerr paid tribute to Mike D’Antoni after winning the NBA championship a couple of years ago.
“I imagined it with Steve Nash. Steve was kind of the original Stephen Curry,” Kerr said from the podium as NBA champion, his shirt still drenched in Champagne. “Slightly different, but similar mindset in terms of — and similar skillset of passing and the ball handling. And the Suns were so close. Things didn’t go their way. But I imagined it. And I was there with Steve as general manager, and I thought it was going to happen for him. But he set the stage for Steph.”
“I think Steve kind of laid out a vision for a whole generation of young point guards. And with the game changing, Mike D’Antoni kind of initiating that style in Phoenix, the floor starting to spread, the whole league kind of playing shooting fours and fives and playing a little faster. I think Mike and Steve in many ways set the table for Steph Curry. And I think Steph would tell you that too. He has great respect for Steve.” (NBC Sports)
Steph Curry is one of the brightest players in the League:
In order to run a Mike D’Antoni fast paced offense efficiently and effectively, you are going to need a top notch pass first point guard with high level IQ and basketball talent. When Mike D’Antoni teams failed, he lacked that player on his roster. When Mike D’Antoni teams have flourished, that player was present. The Golden State Warriors’ complex offense relies on Curry to facilitate the basketball, move without the basketball, and continuously make split second decisions. Curry’s unique combination of scoring ability, high IQ, and quickness and handles have allowed him to run the offense of the top ranked team in the NBA in the last three seasons, earning him one title and two MVP’s with a chance at another title this season. While Russell Westbrook is a relentless player who plays with a lot of heart, he has yet to demonstrate an ability to be efficient and run a complex offense like Curry can. Granted, he has played for two coaches who rely heavily on isolation sets so the jury is still out on the Brodie. Keep in mind, Steve Kerr’s offense is more complicated than Mike D’Antoni’s limited fast pace offense with the Rockets which relied almost too heavily on the pick & pop and pick & roll (this is due to the luxury of continuity that Curry has with the Warriors and Mike D’Antoni has yet to have with the Rockets).
Underrated Curry Attribute: His ability to pass with his “off-hand”:
Making smart basketball plays and having the ability to place the basketball where it should be are two different things. How hard you throw the ball, adding a spin to it, and locating the basketball in the designated player’s chest area are all critical aspects of passing the basketball that most basketball players and fans alike seem to neglect. We all know that guy on the court who is quick to blame everyone else for turnovers because he made a “smart play” but his pass is in fact terrible. Steph Curry seems to be ambidextrous with his top notch passing ability, which allows him to make his teammates better.
Steph is an unstoppable scorer with a killer’s mentality:
Being clutch is not something you can work on directly. However, gaining the confidence through endless hours of practice an aid you in this important ability. Steph Curry is never shy to take the last shot. He even hit a clutch dagger today! There are too many statistics which indicate that James Harden is the farthest thing from clutch, despite what his loyal fans say. An article here from SB Nation goes deeply into Harden’s struggles in the clutch. Chris Paul hasn’t even made it into a conference finals in his entire career. While all three of these players are each capable scorers, Steph Curry is arguable the greatest three point shooter of all time and undisputed the best shooter off the dribble that we have ever seen.
Steph Curry also limits his distractions and is committed to basketball.
Steph Curry is one of the most beloved and also hated on players in basketball. As a Warriors player, I hate him. As a man, I respect him. He has been a great husband to Ayesha and father to his two kids (from what we can see). I have repeatedly pointed out what a great woman can do for a man and Curry seems to be committed to perfecting his craft, trying to stay healthy, and being a good man to his family. Eliminating distractions that the common celebrity seems to crave is something that most young NBA fans are too inexperienced in life to value just yet.
Defensively, the warriors are a top notch team defense:
Russell Westbrook has channeled all his energy to offense, James makes defensive players but refuses to play defense for 48 minutes, and Chris Paul seems to be the best of the bunch in individual defense as of late. While Curry’s on ball defense is not great by any means, he is committed to what I call Mark Jackson’s defense which Steve Kerr inherited, and Curry’s active presence has resulted in his 1.8 steals per game this season, and over two steals a game over the last two seasons.
I stand by my position: Steph Curry is the best point guard in the NBA..
Steph Curry is too often labeled as overrated because that seems to be the narrative the media wants to push us towards. Stats watchers will quickly throw stats at us in their silly attempts to silence us. However, real NBA fans know that efficient winning teams can often lead to distributed statistics instead of heavily relying on an individual player. While Curry’s disappointing performances in the previous two finals are discouraging, at least he can make it that far, unlike Harden, Westbrook, Lillard, Paul, and many others around the League.
Curry’s unique mix of pass first mentality, efficiency, ambidextrous passing and scoring ability, mixed arsenal of scoring options, commitment to team defense, and ability to lead a complex offense is why I refuse to dethrone the two time MVP from his status as the best point guard in the NBA.
Care to argue? Tweet at me: TPRx11
Per Sources Misses Nothing.