The Golden State Warriors defeated the Toronto Raptors on Sunday despite MVP frontrunner Stephen Curry scoring just 12 points on 2-10 shooting from the field. The Raptors were trapping and double-teaming Curry all night and the rest of the Warriors squad answered the bell. Many analysts and fans claimed that Raptors coach Nick Nurse was more concerned about stopping Stephen Curry than winning the game.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has built an entire offensive playbook based on Stephen Curry's gravity. The majority of the plays they run are 4-on-3 because the two-time MVP occupies more than one defender at all times. He lauded his star player's ability and praised the Warriors' offense because of the improved supporting cast in the postgame press conference. He said:
"The biggest thing is the balance. The scoring balance means teams can't throw everything at Steph. That's what was happening last year. It's continued this year but we have more overall shooting this year...It means if teams are going to throw the kitchen sink at Steph, they're going to pay."
Last season, the other players couldn't knock down shots when Stephen Curry was doubled but this season the roster has drastically improved. Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee are playing at an extremely high level while the additions of Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr., and Gary Payton II has worked out wonders. Even at age 37, Andre Iguodala's veteran presence and defensive IQ have been brilliant for the team.
Stephen Curry's gravity is unlike anything we have ever seen. He freezes defenders just with his movement without the ball and often draws doubles and triple-teams 30 feet away from the basket. Opposing defenses are so freaked out by his shooting ability that they try and do whatever they can to get the ball out of his hands. All of this coverage of Curry leaves his teammates wide open.
The Golden State Warriors were down by 13 points heading into the final quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road but eventually won the game by 15 points. They outscored the home team 36-8 in the final period and that was all possible because Stephen Curry created 33 straight points in 10 minutes, scoring 20 points himself.
Hence, it is easy to say that at this stage of his career, it is almost impossible for Stephen Curry to have a bad game because even if his shots aren't falling, he'll ensure that his teammates' are.
Jordan Poole and Draymond Green reflect over Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors season
Nobody has picked the Golden State Warriors to be atop the NBA standings five weeks into the season. Analysts and oddsmakers had them top four in the West because of Stephen Curry's form and Klay Thompson's eventual return. But the Dubs have exceeded expectations and they not only have the best record in the league but are top two in both offensive (second) and defensive (first) rating.
One of the major reasons for the league-best defense is former DPOY Draymond Green. He is the defensive anchor for the Golden State Warriors and wishes to earn another DPOY award this season. He reflected on the Warriors' incredible 15-2 start after the win over the Raptors, saying:
"I'm, wouldn't necessarily say, surprised that it's going well, but a little surprised that it's going as well as fast as it is...Everyone talks about our schedule. There's some truth to that. We haven’t had the toughest schedule in the world. But you can only play who they put out there in front of you. Regardless of who we're playing, we're handling our business the way it should be handled."
Last season, the Golden State Warriors were 11-14 whenever Stephen Curry scored below 30 points and 26-12 whenever he dropped 30 or more. The "non-Curry" minutes were often a disaster for the team as their offense fell by drastic margins. However, this season the rest of the squad has improved and stepped up to the fore. So far this season, the Warriors are 9-1 when Stephen Curry scores under 30 points and 5-1 when he scores over.
One player who is majorly responsible for the improvement in the "non-Curry" minutes is Jordan Poole, who is having a breakout season. He has scored 30+ points in back-to-back games and is doing a fabulous job as the starting shooting guard until Klay Thompson returns. As reported by ESPN's Nick Friedell, Poole spoke about Draymond Green and Stephen Curry's importance to the Golden State Warriors, saying:
"I think he knows as well as everybody else that we go as far as he goes, as far as Steph goes and the rest of our vets...The last two years have been a little bit rough and I think he really gets the sense like, 'All right, we're back.' And we got a chance to really do this"
Q. Will Stephen Curry win MVP?
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