If the MVP vote is about making an impression, the way Stephen Curry has been playing recently might seal the deal for him in the race of the individual award, with his performance in a 110-101 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves for the Golden State Warriors, on par with his best of the season.
Curry scored 34 points, including five 3-pointers, 7 assists and 4 steals to lead the Warriors to another meaningless win, as they improve their NBA best-record to 65-15, simply extending the franchise record and trying to become part of an elite group that has won at least 67 times in one regular season. Two more wins (home against Memphis and Denver) and they’re part of that group.
It was an impressive performance for the point guard opposing Curry, Zach LaVine, who is doing a pretty good job individually at least as the absence of Ricky Rubio has turned into more than just absence-due-to-tanking, but actually something that requires surgery. LaVine scored 37 points in 45 minutes, and although the Timberwolves will finish with the worst record in the West and possibly the NBA, they have a very good group of young players as a core to build on for the next couple of years, if it doesn’t fall apart for them like it usually does.
Klay Thompson also had a good game with 23 points although it came on just 40% shooting. Steve Kerr must be hearing a lot of voices and “advice” about shutting his players down, but for now, it seems like he’s more worried of keeping them in shape and edgy as the playoffs draw near. Thompson played 38 minutes, Curry 35 and Draymond Green 37. It doesn’t seem like we’re seeing a change in the minute spread and rotations despite doing all they can do in this regular season.
According to Andrew Bogut and others, they actually need this. The Timberwolves might be tanking, but with just seven players active more or less, it’s not like there’s really a lot of room to be tinkering around for Flip Saunders. The Timberwolves tried sucker punching the Warriors and came close to doing it, but the best team in the NBA is trying to finish as strong as possible while laying the foundation for Curry’s MVP award. It’s hard to stop them when they’re playing like this.