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Stephen Curry for MVP: Does the Golden State Warriors' talisman stand a chance of winning the award?

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry at the 2021 NBA All-Star - 3-Point Contest
Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry at the 2021 NBA All-Star - 3-Point Contest
Kunal Sethi

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry is widely regarded as the greatest shooter in NBA history. The 2-time regular-season MVP has been credited with revolutionizing the game as we know it today.

This season in particular, Stephen Curry has been fantastic. He is averaging stellar numbers since his return from a tailbone injury, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 2015-16 unanimous MVP season. He recently dropped 53 points against the Denver Nuggets and passed the legendary Wilt Chamberlain as the all-time leading scorer in Golden State Warriors history.

Curry's dominance over the past few weeks has seen him re-enter the MVP race. He hasn't scored under 30 points in any of his last 10 games which ties him with Kobe Bryant for the most consecutive 30-point games in NBA history for a player aged 33 or older.

He is undoubtedly in the MVP conversation. His absence from the Golden State Warriors lineup reduced his team's offensive efficacy by drastic margins. The NBA released its list of MVP candidates a while ago and Curry is ranked ninth on that list.

Can Stephen Curry win his third MVP award?

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors giving an interview after defeating Minnesota
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors giving an interview after defeating Minnesota

Stephen Curry is certainly not the frontrunner for the award but makes a strong case for it nonetheless. He single-handedly carries the Golden State Warriors offense and his absence from the floor tanks the entire team's offensive efficiency, playmaking, shooting, and several other aspects.

While Curry has been on the floor, the Golden State Warriors have the 13th-best offense in the league. But when he isn't, they tank to become the seventh-worst offense in NBA history. It is one of the best floor-raising jobs we have seen in a long time.

When Curry is on the floor, the Golden State Warriors assist better by +3.9%, steal the ball better by +0.1%, the team's effective FG% increases by +.058%, the offensive rebounding shoots up by +3.3% and overall Offensive Rating increases by +10.7.

Analysts and pundits from around the league took notice of Stephen Curry's impact on the Warriors and how, if we were to go by the actual definition of "valuable," he'd be one of the top choices.

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On the NBA's ranked list in the MVP race, the players above Curry are LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden.

Stephen Curry perhaps has a stronger case for MVP votes over Embiid, Antetokounmpo, Leonard, Harden and James as they have all missed games due to injury and Curry has played more games than any of them.

Also Read: How much is Stephen Curry's Net Worth?

James Harden is unlikely to get the votes considering he is playing alongside superstars who are also averaging similar points per game. Missing games hurts the chances of a player winning the MVP award, as we have seen in the past.

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For Stephen Curry to win the MVP award, the Golden State Warriors need to win games and win them now. They have 15 fixtures remaining until the end of the season and have the 11th-easiest schedule going forward.

Russell Westbrook won the MVP award in 2017 when the OKC Thunder were the sixth seed. For Curry to even be eligible over some of the other players like Jokic, Lillard and Embiid, the Warriors will need to be among the top six seeds anyhow.

The Golden State Warriors recently achieved their first four-game win streak of the season. Stephen Curry has been sensational in the last ten games, averaging 39.1 points on a remarkable 55/49/90 shooting splits. Per ESPN, that's the highest PPG for a player aged 33 or older in NBA history.

Stephen Curry showered with water after posting a career-high 62 points
Stephen Curry showered with water after posting a career-high 62 points

For a player to be eligible for MVP, he also needs to average one of the highest numbers in the league and Stephen Curry is already excellent in that department. At age 33, he has the third-highest usage rate in the NBA and is averaging 31.0 points per game so far, the second-highest in the league.

Curry has three of the top five highest-scoring games this season, with 62, 57 and 53 points. If Stephen Curry continues to drop huge numbers, he might earn the scoring title over Bradley Beal (31.1 PPG), which would further solidify his MVP candidacy.

He has one of the highest true shooting% at 66% this season and the league leader in three-pointers made with 250, 28 higher than the next player on the leaderboard.

If the Golden State Warriors get in the top 6 seeds and Stephen Curry ends up scoring the highest or second-highest in the league, the "baby-faced assassin" might earn the votes for his third MVP award.

Also Read: Player in focus: Kevin Durant and his journey so far with the Brooklyn Nets | NBA Season 2020-21


Edited by S Chowdhury

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