Wednesday, February 1

Three stats that show how dominant Stephen Curry has been to start season

Stephen Curry is having yet another MVP-level season, and even that undersells how dominant he’s been. It would be hard to argue there has been a better player in the league so far. That doesn’t mean Curry is going to win MVP; the Warriors probably need to rise in the standings for that to become a reality, particularly with the way Jayson Tatum and the Celtics are rolling. But for a quick glance at the gap between Curry and and everyone else, have a look at the three numbers below. 

Fourth-quarter scoring

Curry leads the league with 179 total fourth-quarter points. He is 93rd in fourth-quarter minutes. I’ll repeat: Curry has scored more fourth-quarter points than anyone else, despite player fewer fourth-quarter minutes than 92 other players. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is second to Curry with 177 fourth-quarter points, has played 24 more fourth-quarter minutes. Jayson Tatum, who is third with 171 fourth-quarter points, has played almost 50 more fourth-quarter minutes than Curry. 

Curry gets busy in his 6.8 fourth-quarter minutes per game (almost two fewer than Giannis and Tatum, for comparison), leading the league with 131 total fourth-quarter attempts and carrying Golden State to a plus-48 point differential, all while maintaining the same 43.6 percent mark from 3 he’s shooting for the season. 

50/40/90/30

There are nine players in history to shoot 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3 and 90 percent from the free-throw line on at least 10 shots per game. Curry is the only one to post those shooting splits while also scoring at least 30 points per game, which he did in his unanimous MVP 2015-16 season. He’s doing it again. 

Entering play on Monday, Curry is averaging exactly 30 points per game with 50.2/43.6/90.8 shooting splits on 20.3 shots per game. At present, there are only four other players putting up 50/40/90 splits, and three of them (Frank Kaminsky, A.J. Green and Tony Bradley) are logging under two minutes per game. They don’t count. 

With any level of qualification, there are only two players currently in the 50-40-90 shooting club. One of them, Curry, is averaging 30 points per game. The other, Luke Kennard, is averaging 7.9 points on 5.8 shots. 

Made 3s per game

Curry is the only player in history to average more than five made 3-pointers per game for a season. He’s done it three times and is on pace to do it a fourth time this year, sinking 5.1 a night entering play on Monday. 

If we lower the bar to let some other guys in the conversation, James Harden holds the second-highest mark for 3-point makes per game at 4.8 in 2018-19, but he shot under 37 percent from 3 that season. Harden made 4.4 3s per game in 2019-20 at a 35 percent clip. 

The only player other than Curry to make even four 3-pointers per game with at least a 40 percent success rate was Damian Lillard in 2019-20. when he made 4.1 per night at a 40.1 percent clip. 

Think about that. These are the most prolific 3-point shooters ever, and only one player other than Curry has ever managed to make more than four per game at a 40 percent clip for even one season. Curry is on pace to make over five 3s per game, on at least a 42 percent clip, for the fourth time. 





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