Stephen Curry the NBA’s Most Promising Point Guard?
Excellent court vision and transcendent shooting ability, what’s not to like? But the idea of “most promising” revolves around potential, and it remains unclear for at least a few more seasons whether Curry can kick the injury bug that has been hampering him or if it ultimately limits his trajectory.
Once upon a time, some projected Steve Nash as Curry’s ceiling. Given that that Curry and the former Phoenix Suns player share the same size and possibly the same touch, one can see how that comparison came about.
Curry’s potential has since been trumped by something far more substantial: actual production. Golden State’s leading scorer led the Warriors to 47 wins in the 2012-13 campaign and a Western Conference semifinals berth.
Furthermore, he has made many openly question whether he has become the greatest shooter in NBA history (ESPN Insider). It seems pertinent to mention the Davidson product will be 25 years old when training camp for the 2013-14 season opens.
The Nash ceiling that initially hovered over Curry’s head has since been destroyed in the same manner that – SPOILERT ALERT – Bane accomplished in his first battle with Batman in Dark Knight Rises. With limits and comparisons all but gone, it is fair to wonder how the remainder of his career will unfold.
When Curry first entered the league, artificial restrictions were placed on his game to placate Monta Ellis. The 2-guard got the bulk of the possessions and allowed his backcourt partner to generate some of the offense on sporadic occasions.
As a result, Curry was confined to the corners where he stretched defenses wide and opened up the floor for Ellis. The 3-point marksman immediately showcased his shooting touch, but other aspects of his game remained hidden by virtue of his role.
Ellis was eventually traded during the 2011-12 campaign and the Warriors’ internal hierarchy changed overnight. Curry became the team’s lead guy and although he was not quite ready for the role initially.
At the start of the 2012-13 season, the sharpshooter struggled with the added defensive attention as well as the responsibilities that came along with being the team’s best player. He had a few curious turnovers and launched a few ill-advised jumpers.
Curry eventually adjusted and took off midway through 2012-13. Armed with health, confidence and a silky jumper, his opponents simply did not stand a chance.
At the conclusion of his fourth season in the league, there was a contingent that began to ponder on his place in NBA history as a shooter. And that’s where his promise becomes intriguing and yet scary.
Curry improved during the course of 2012-13 and it stands to reason he is far from a being a finished product. His playmaking and decision-making can certainly get better.
Also, he is not a great finisher around the rim, which is partly one of the reasons teams dare him to put the ball on the floor. Going to the basket typically results in hard collisions, which slows down players.
Defenses know this all too well and have tried to send Curry messages by forcing him to venture into the paint off the bounce. To his credit, he has been able to shake loose of physical defenders, but it may be in his best interest to get stronger.
As a terrific finisher at the rim, Curry becomes laughably indefensible. Thus, despite playing in a league that houses Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose an Kyrie Irving, there is a possibility that Steph will be the association’s premier point guard in a few seasons.
Then again, the world-class shooter might never get there. Nonetheless, the scenarios just seem realistically endless. And really, that’s a testament to his talent and his promise.