Wednesday, October 5

Stephen Curry stats: Why is the Warriors star stuck in a slump after breaking the 3-point record?

Stephen Curry has long been known to be the greatest shooter of all time, but ever since officially became the best shooter of all time, it has been the opposite.

During the first quarter of the season, it seemed that Curry was turning back the clocks on his immortal and unanimous MVP. The superstar guard had the Warriors with the best record in the NBA, and he was racking up numbers that made him a clear early-season favorite to win MVP.

Through the first 24 games, Curry averaged 27.7 points while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and a blistering 41.6 percent from 3-point range on 13.2 (!) attempts per game. As a result, the Warriors owned a 20-4 record, outscoring teams behind their All-Star guard’s play.

Then the magnifying glass began to hover over each and every one of Curry’s games as shooters came closer to surpassing Ray Allen’s record for most 3-pointers made in NBA history.

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(False images)

The game that stands out was the Warriors’ Dec. 8 matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Curry came within 16 3-pointers of passing Allen and while the all-time record for 3-pointers in a game is 14 (shout out to Curry’s brother Klay Thompson), there were rumors surrounding this contest as if Steph was going to break two historical milestones. records on the same night.

I think it’s a credit to how extraordinary Curry is as a shooter. He was on the hunt for the all-time record, and even though he needed to do something that no one had done before in the history of the game, people began to expect the unexpected and assume that Curry could make it happen. Head coach Steve Kerr even approved of the idea of ​​Curry burying 16 3-pointers in one game to rewrite the record books.

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“Absolutely… he’s Steph Curry, so anything is possible.” Kerr stated on the topic leading up to that contest.

The result? Curry made 17 3-pointers, only knocking down six of them to put himself within 10 3-pointers of the record. Curry needed three more games after that contest to break the record, finally doing so at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks six days later.

MORE: Inside Stephen Curry’s path to becoming the greatest shooter of all time

Once he became the NBA’s all-time 3-point leader, he admitted he was relieved that the circus surrounding the landmark was over, but his shooting problems have been with him ever since.

Curry’s shooting percentages since setting the NBA’s all-time 3-point record
Before the breaking record 26 27.0 8.8-20.3 5.4-13.4 43.2 40.1
After breaking the record 18 24.3 7.8-19.7 3.9-11.5 39.7 33.8

In his last 18 games, Curry has seen his field goal percentage drop to just under 40 and his 3-point percentage dropped almost eight percentage points compared to how he was shooting before breaking the record.

If you’re more of a visual learner, his side-by-side before (left) and after (right) 3-point shot charts explain it all.

(NBA Stats)

Where green means above league average, yellow means average, and red means below league average, Curry has fallen well below average since taking the NBA 3-point shooting crown. . As a result, his shooting percentages all season are at career lows (apart from the 2019-20 season, where he only played five games), shooting 41.8 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from 3.

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To be clear, 37.3 percent of 3 is no bad by no means, especially at the volume it’s shooting at. But it goes without saying that there is a different standard for the best shooter the game has ever seen.

As we all know, the internet is undefeated, and someone mentioned that Curry’s recent performances are more like tour dates, which made me laugh.

Just four games ago, Curry was in the midst of another poor night of shooting when he snapped out of his slump for a brief moment to play hero, knocking down a game-winning shot to beat the Rockets. And while you’d think it might have been a turning point in getting back on track, he shot a combined 12-for-36 from the field and 3-for-23 from 3 in the next two games after the crucial game-winning basket. .

Is he really in this wrong of a spell? Or is there an injury involved?

According to The Athletic’s Anthony Slater, Curry has been dealing with a lingering hand and finger injury, though Slater said Curry himself won’t admit it openly.

“He landed hard on his shooting hand in Chicago (Jan. 14) and then missed a game. Then in the first game of the homestand (Jan. 18 vs. DET), he jammed his left middle finger pretty hard. , had to leave the game briefly, and had to record it,” Slater said on the Warriors Plus Minus podcast.

He went on to explain that he has seen Curry fiddling with his hand and finger during pregame shooting practice and that the star shooting guard doesn’t appear to be 100 percent even though he continues to play despite the injury, which could be the root of your shot. fights

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Yet despite Curry’s slump, the Warriors have continued to reap wins, going 13-5 in their 18-game losing streak to own an overall record of 36-13, good for second-best in the West. and the NBA in general. . Another good sign? He played well in Golden State’s last outing, leading the Warriors to their fourth straight win with 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting and 6-of-10 from 3-point range.

Curry getting back to his MVP form could be the difference between the Warriors being a champion team or not, so he’ll have to channel the version of himself he was mindlessly chasing the 3-point record earlier this season to get back. to be on the right path.

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