Ever since his electric 2015-16 season, Stephen Curry has been one of the most talked-about players in the NBA, and for good reason.
A two-time MVP and one of the best three-point shooters the sport has ever seen, the Golden State Warriors guard seems to be back to his scintillating best.
In that 2015-16 run, Curry played a total of 79 games, averaging 30.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also achieved the coveted 50/40/90 split; netting over 50% of his field goal attempts, 40% of his three-pointer attempts and 90% of his free throws.
He remains the only player in NBA history to average over 30 points per game in a season while hitting that 50/40/90 target.
The Warriors won 73 games in the 2015-16 campaign – a league record – and made it all the way to the Finals, though eventually lost out to the Cleveland Cavaliers, blowing a 3-1 lead.
For his efforts, Curry was a unanimous MVP and had announced himself as one of the most impactful offensive players in the NBA.
Kevin Durant joined the Warriors the following season and Curry took more of a backseat, meaning his numbers dropped over the course of the next few campaigns. After the 2019 Finals, Durant left on a free trade and Steph stepped back into his starring role.
Unfortunately, a nasty hand injury left him sidelined for 58 straight games in the 2019-20 season, but it didn’t take him long to bounce back. He once again snatched the scoring title in the 2020-21 season and earned a career-high average of 32 points per game, signalling a return to form that had other teams nervous.
This season, Curry has been otherworldly. Through 24 games he is averaging 27.5 points per game, with 6.3 assists and a career-high 5.5 rebounds per match. He’s also making an average 5.5 three-pointers every game – higher than at any other point in his career – and averaging 13.3 attempts, making 42.3% of them.
If that average of 5.5 three-pointers sustains throughout the season, Curry is on course to post a staggering 450 of them in total across the campaign, shattering the record currently held by himself, which sits at 402.
By the 19th game of the season, Curry had already made 105 threes, making him the fastest player to hit 100 three-pointers in a season. Again, he was just beating his own record.
His wondrous start to the season helped the Warriors produce the second most successful 20-game start to a season, with an 18-2 record that sits only behind their 20-0 record from 2015-16, which remains the best start to a season from any team in the NBA ever.
Anyone who has followed the game or actually bets on the NBA will likely have seen that Golden State are now one of the hot favorites to win the Western Conference and even make it to the Finals.
If Curry stays on form and the Warriors maintain this trajectory, it’s hard to not see them progressing deep into the postseason and potentially earning another shot at the title.
In fact, there’s an argument to be made that Steph is now better than he’s ever been. Since his glittering 2015-16 run, the 33-year-old has developed himself not just as a player but a physical specimen.
Once teams began to work out the Curry conundrum, opposing players were able to physically impose themselves on him, forcing soft fouls and working him off the ball. If there was one glaring weakness in his game, it was defence.
Now, though, he has packed on muscle and filled out his frame, making himself a much more capable defensive player. In fact, he’s now in the league’s top 20 in both steals and deflections.
Even without Curry’s improvements, the Warriors have the best defense in the league, but he is now more of an all-rounder than he’s ever been before. That is a scary proposition for every other team in the NBA.
Curry also appears to be more disciplined and focused than ever, something that has not gone unnoticed by Golden State head coach Steve Kerr. Steph is in incredible physical condition at the moment, covering an average of over 2.5 miles per game, more than any other player on the team.
Curry might not just be back to his best; he might be performing better than he ever has before in the NBA. He has started this season better than any other player and the Warriors are establishing themselves as leading contenders for the title.