Steph Curry has arrived as a legitimate MVP candidate
College Contributor Network
Steph Curry is routinely considered the best shooter in the league, yet is rarely named the best point guard in the NBA. Curry is in everyone's top 5 for most exciting player to watch, but at the end of every season, he's on the outside looking in on the MVP race.
This year that changes. Bookmark this page because I will call it first. Come early May, Curry's named will be inscribed on the MVP trophy.
The cover boy for the Golden State Warriors, who are currently third in the Western Conference, has been shot out of a cannon and onto the hardwood in the early goings of the season. He's shooting just about 50% from the field, almost 40% from behind the moneyball arc, and 97.5% from the free throw line. Cold, hard cash.
In the first five games, Curry has scored more than 20 points, pulled down more than five rebounds, and dished out more than five assists in each contest. That mark initiates him into a club with members named Dwyane Wade and Oscar Robertson.
Now cue the small sample size argument. The Warriors have lost their last two heading into Thursday's game with the Nets, and in those losses Curry has taken steps back in his quest for the MVP award. He shot not even 24% from three-point land and turned the ball over 13 times which are two rookie characteristics that show whenever the Mr. Hyde side of No. 30 laces up the sneakers.
But then there is the side of Curry that leaves you with your jaw on the floor. The man is a flat-out offensive barrage. Last year he put up just under 25 points per game, handed out eight-and-a-half dimes, shot 47 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from deep. No one had done that before.
How about stats besides just his godly scoring abilities? Curry has incredible and very underrated ball-handling and passing skills that enabled him to have the fifth-highest assists per game (8.5) and third-highest assist percentage (39.9%) in the NBA last year.
Going by the books, Curry is the best offensive point guard in the league, but a coin always has two sides. The dirty laundry for Curry in his career has been his lack of defensive abilities as a scoring guard. Those cries are now all but erased. He now is the league leader in steals (not Chris Paul for a change) and averages almost five rebounds per game. There are no more easy possessions when Curry is on the floor.
Curry is by every definition a Most Valuable Player. Last season when the Warriors didn't have him on the floor, they were in fact the NBA's worst offense –- only 93.8 points per 100 possessions. Add No. 30 into the five on the floor and, abracadabra ,the Warriors become a top 10 offensive team. The league leader in offensive win shares for point guards last year was Curry with 9.3. That right there is value.
Since the NBA is all about entertainment, I think it's right to also argue that the Warriors were voted the most fun team to watch by both general managers and fans, and most of that can be credited to Curry who resembles a Harlem Globetrotter with the plays he converts from any part of the court at any time in the ballgame. He is simply magic in a bottle.
If the Warriors remain at the top of the Western Conference, which seems very likely with an even-more bolstered 'Dubs squad, then it would be absolutely no surprise to see Curry's name in the top three.
Now, with guys like Kevin Durant and Paul George out for considerable time, the race for MVP is as wide open as the playoff picture. LeBron, James Harden, Damien Lillard, Blake Griffin, and Anthony Davis all are tough challengers in the early stages of the race. But if one thing is for certain, it's that Curry has gotten better and more versatile every year.
Every year it's one thing or another. "No, Curry can't be a reasonable weapon in the NBA because he's too small. No, Curry can't be a good point guard in the league, he's too one-dimensional and doesn't play defense."
Watch it now, Steph Curry can ball and is within striking distance of becoming Golden State's first MVP player. But then again, what really is Steph Curry's striking distance?
Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. People refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Orange, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123