“I don’t know who second place is for the best shooter in the world,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “But he certainly has first place tied up.”
Mark Jackson may be a positive coach who believes in his team, but for him to admit that his own point guard Stephen Curry is THE BEST shooter on the planet is a bold statement to say the least.
Tonight, Curry and the Warriors are set to play their last regular season game. With 268 made 3-pointers, he is only 2 away from breaking Ray Allen’s record of 269 in a single season. While this record centers around the act of shooting, I believe it means more in this context. There’s no argument that LeBron James is the best player in the world, but I’d make a strong case for Curry being close, or at least mentioned among the other current greats like Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant.
True, he didn’t make the All-Star team, but in a competitive Western Conference surrounded by already-established ‘superstars,’ players need to get their foot in the All-Star door before they get voted in on a annual basis. Breaking the record tonight and being in the playoffs is a great foot for Curry to step off of following this season.
The reason I think he’s one of the best is because of his ratio of talent to size. At 6’3″ and weighing 185 pounds, he physically CAN’T dominate in ways like other superstars do, and instead relies completely on skill. Not to take anything away from players like LeBron and Durant, but when you’re 6’8″ and 6’10″, respectively, you have an advantage over the average player.
While the same can be said about Chris Paul and his lack of size, Curry is already a better shooter and nearly as good a playmaker. It’s comical: Curry is SO good at shooting that his gift of making baskets has made people forget about his playmaking skills, hence his status as a ‘shooter’ rather than as a ‘player’ (he’s averaging 7 assists along with his 23 points per game).
Whether he breaks the record or not isn’t really that important. While it’d be a great accomplishment, being number 1 or 2 on the 3-pointers list isn’t very telling about how good he really is. If anything, it’s the fact that Curry got this far, to not only cement himself as one of the best shooters this year (and of all time), but to give fans another chance to witness his all-around greatness.
Stephen Curry is one of the best players in the NBA, but there is no stat to prove it. Watch him tonight and in the playoffs and let him do so himself.