At some point, teams are going to give up. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are marching towards a historic season and we’re not even halfway past November yet. It’s been that good, that dominant, that close to perfection.
Curry finished with 46 points as he shot 15-of-25 from the field, 8-of-13 from beyond the arc and 8-of-8 from the line. This wasn’t just a Curry show, it never is. Part of what makes the Warriors so impossible to defend is the fact that they have three other players on the floor (or more) who it is reckless to leave open. Curry himself devours so much attention from a defense just by patrolling the 3-point line, looking for an opportunity to exploit.
Curry is leading the league offensively in almost every possible metric. Scoring, obviously, with 33.3 points per game and three games in the first 10 with 40 points or more. He leads the NBA in win share per 48 minutes and also the VORP, which is the NBA’s version of Baseball’s WAR. There’s no one more valuable to their team than him right now, even though the Warriors are packed to the brim with talented players. There’s no one better than him right now, period.
Last year Curry had a scary +16.6 per 100 possessions when playing. This season? It’s up to +20.9 during his 34.3 minutes a night. His usage ratio is skyrocketing to 32.6%. The Warriors are no longer careful with his minutes, despite quite a few blowout victories (Have won eight of their games by 14 points or more, only twice in by single digits). These numbers tend to curb a bit towards the norm as the season goes along, and the Warriors will have difficult games ahead, but they don’t seem like a team that’s about to collapse or have a bad day right now. Even if they do, leaning on Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the others makes Curry so much looser and less pressured to do it all on his own, something the Warriors suffered from during the Mark Jackson years.
With every game that goes by, we realize not just how good of a player Curry has turned into, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the system he’s in that allows it or that he’s simply this good, maybe already the best offensive weapon in the league and one of the most lethal ever. It’s becoming more and more evident that this Warriors team, on something of a crusade to shut up all those who criticized their way of winning a championship last season, is on its way to being remembered as one of the great dynasties.
Overreaction? Probably, maybe even definitely. But it’s difficult not to get excited about Curry’s ability within the context of excellent team basketball and fantastic defense when there’s a need for it (Warriors are second in defensive efficiency so far this season), and it’s difficult not to overreact when they’re outscoring and outplaying everything and everyone in their way. It’s a long season and it’s only November, but all the numbers from last season and this one say it’s not just a good month for Curry or the Warriors. It’s a lot more.