Steph Curry is a better shooter than he is a passer. Considering he’s the best shooter in the world, of course, that’s hardly a slight. If Curry’s playmaking ability matched his range-less marksmanship his dominance – and that’s what it is already, as he’s shown in the last three games – would know no bounds.
But the point remains that his rapid ascent to superstardom is marked mostly by 30-foot bombs and side-step flicks from all over the floor. When we look back on this Warriors playoff run, his shot-making is what will stick out most because that’s what Curry does like truly no one else can. And that makes sense – he’s a better shooter than any player in the NBA is at anything else. It might not be close.
But think back on last night’s first half. Remember Andrew Bogut’s 12 points and four rim-rattling slams, and that the Warriors scored 56 points on well over 50% shooting. Curry had seven points and took just three shots before halftime, but his fingerprints were all over Golden State’s awesome performance nonetheless. He took easy advantage of Denver’s trap-heavy defense with perfect pocket-passes and sublime timing; Curry assisted on four of Bogut’s six first-half baskets.
The great passers have a knack for space, patience and prescience that can’t be taught. They have skill, too, the rare ability to dish equally well with both hands, off-the-dribble and behind-the-back. Curry has it all and more, attributes plainly obvious but nevertheless put into question by the incessant debate as to whether or not he’s a “real point guard.”
The answer is that it doesn’t matter. It never has and it never will. Curry’s certainly improved this season from a consistency standpoint, but the toolbox of skills that make him so good now have been there forever; he’s just finally healthy enough to get a chance to show them off on a nightly basis.
So when you’re watching game 5 and marvel at a Curry 3-pointer, next take special note of his rare playmaking exploits because an example is surely coming. It won’t seem as noteworthy or even as flashy, but its influence on the Warriors success will be just as substantial.
*Video courtesy of NBA.com and CSNbayarea.com
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