Let me lead by saying this has been a real challenge. First of all trying to establish how to break down an NBA player. Then locking in and doing the work, as objectively as possible measuring the players against each other and the NBA respectively. This whole thing started with an argument on Twitter with loads of people weighing in on “who is the best NBA player right now”. The mutual consensus was that LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard were the four best. And those are the players I have broken down into 14 different categories.
To make sure as many as possible agree on the way I have done this, over 500 people participated in a poll on Twitter voting “how to emphasise offence vs defence”. Over 70% said a 60/40 split in favour of offence was the way to go. So thats what I have I done. Then to make sure to cover every angle, I have added a 3rd category with four points, “the Extras”. Hope you enjoy the read.
– Basket Regards. Magnus Barstad (follow me on Twitter @MagnusBarstad)
14 points of breaking down the Chef, Stephen Curry
- Long distance & FTs (3s and long 2s)
The best long distance shooter in the history of the game. Redefining what long distance is. Great at the FT line.
- Close to the basket
Has put in tremendous amounts of work on his finishing around the rim. Can now score from insane angles. Does not have the ability to go up and finish around the trees, but is getting close to as good you can get without that.
Getting better at passing. Does not have the insane passing ability of the best PGs in the league. But he has a fear factor and a team that allows him to deliver on point passes to unmarked players. Great at doing the extra pass if needed to get an even better look. 6.7 avg in the Playoffs which is pretty dead on his 6.6 avg for the season.
- Controlling the game
Despite not being a Chris Paul type assist maker Curry can control a game with the best of them. His deadly long distance shooting will make teams have to adjust how they defend and start pressuring him higher up the floor than any other player. This gives Curry a lot of room to move the ball and beat the defenders with space.
- Unstoppable move(s)
The quickest and most deadly shot release of all time. Can get high percentage long distance shots from anywhere.
- His ability to handle pressure and double teams
To stop his long distance shooting Steph has seen all kinds of double teams and traps. His amazing ball handling skills and long arms allow him to prevail almost every time. As for high pressure situations of any kind. He is as cool a customer as you will find.
Offence total: 56/60
- Man to man guarding
Obviously does not have the size to deal with any kind of offensive player and can get caught in pick and rolls getting bigger guys on him. Curry puts in a lot of work and effort to stay with the better point guards of the league, but a lot of them are too strong and too quick for Steph. They often get dealt for Klay Thompson to handle. Steph is not really a liability 1 v 1 anymore against smaller players, but still is against bigger ones. Has good hands and can get deflections and steals.
- Flexibility and switching
Very limited flexibility in defence. Often has to guard the other teams weakest player whether it’s a PG or SG. 6’3” and 190lbs with no crazy strength or quickness gives him problems. Trying to say anything else would be silly. We have seen the best teams in the Playoffs target him in pick and rolls time and time again.
- Defensive leadership
Not a defensive leader. He is still quite vocal and good at calling out plays coming against. Is one of several players who have generally good communication in a strong defensive GSW team. Rebounds well defensively for his position. And will fight and scrap, even though he often is too small.
- Protecting the paint or the perimeter
Curry has good footwork is one of those players who are allowed to use a lot of arms when navigating screens on the defensive end. This makes him a decent perimeter defender. Good at using his body and getting in the right position forcing the defender to pass out. At PG his task is not being in the paint. But if he gets dragged in there he does not stand a chance.
Defence total 24/40
An amazing team mate. Plays as hard as he can on both ends. Puts in the hours at the gym working on his craft. Will not hesitate to give the extra pass. And most importantly he has shown to be one of the more selfless superstars ever. Sharing the spotlight and doing what’s best for the team and not what’s best for Steph Curry time and time again.
Strong on and off the court. Confident in his ability to lead. Once again the selflessness that makes him a great teammate also is what makes him a good leader. Never any off court trouble. Humble and hard working.
With very little natural ability as an NBA rebounder the work Curry has put in combined with IQ actually makes him a strong rebounder at his position. Had several very strong rebounding games in the Finals, with the ability to come up with big offensive boards. Will never be an absolute elite rebounder, but has made the most out of what he can.
Is there an NBA player with more X-factor than Steph Curry? Can take over games and make insane three point plays. He is one of those players who can go on a 9-0 run in 30 seconds. Does not only get himself going, but when he starts rolling the rest of the Warriors starts clicking with him.
Considered giving him 11/10 on X-Factor.
Extra total 38/40
140 points of Stephen Curry = 118/140
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