Numbers don’t lie. The legend of Stephen Curry gets more mythical each and every time the Golden State Warriors sharpshooter crosses midcourt. Just any player who tried guarding the two-time NBA regular season MVP during the month of April. Curry went on a scoring tear not seen in NBA annals.
As a result of his prolific scoring spree in April, Curry has single-handily brought back to the brink of a postseason berth after the Warriors looked like they would write this season off. The expression April showers bring May flowers usually refers to the blooming flowers as a result of rainfall during the spring.
For the Warriors, Curry’s shooting rainfall has given the team new life in the race for a playoff spot. This scenario would have been unimaginable after March. Golden State had just recorded a 4-8 record in March and was down in the dumps in the NBA standings in the Western Conference.
Then this man named Curry showed up to give the NBA another history lesson. And he did it with flair. Curry rained down 3-pointers at an unprecedented clip during the month of April, which the Warriors recorded a .500 record with an 8-8 mark. Curry made more 3-pointers than anyone in league history during a calendar month and did it hitting a remarkable 46.6% rate and averaging 13.7 attempts per game.
The Warriors played 16 games in April and Curry made 10 or more 3-pointers in four of those games. Curry’s shooting from distance was incredible, to put his streak in perspective, only five other players have multiple games with at least 10 made three’s. Curry’s teammate and the other Splash Brother Klay Thompson have five such games.
Thompson, forced to sit out this season because of an injury, trail his running mate for most games with 10 or more 3’s made with Curry now sitting at 21. It is getting close to undeniable as to who the greatest shooter is of all time. His name is spelled S-T-E-P-H C-U-R-R-Y.
Curry was red hot from all over the floor. Shooting over 46% from outside the arc is already heading towards a great percentage but Curry was blistering from inside the arc. Curry was finishing at the rim at 67.5% of the time and hitting the mid-range at 58.3%. All in all, Curry shot the ball at 51.8% from the field during April. Stupid numbers.
Curry scored 30 or more in 13 of the 16 games in April, and he scored 30 or more in 11-consecutive games. That stretch topped the late Kobe Bryant who had 30 or more in 10 straight games. Curry now has the record for the most 30 or more point consecutive games in league history. Curry was able to break Bryant’s record in fashion dropping 49 in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on April 19.
But all things have to come to an end and Curry did so in the next game at the Wizards on April 21. Curry’s 11-game streak came to an abrupt halt with the Warriors dropping a 118-114 defeat to the Washington Wizards. Curry made just 7 of 25 shots from the field. And when the well goes dry, it goes dry. Curry couldn’t this side of a barn in three-point land, shooting an abysmal 2-14 from beyond the arc.
Curry however was not discouraged and he racked up 32 points the following game vs the Denver Nuggets.
“It was a great run,” Curry said after the game. “It was something that hadn’t been done before.”
Even though the streak ended April 19, Curry’s impressive month was not over. The Dubs played four more games in April and Curry averaged 33.25 points in those contests. He only went under 30 once when he finished with 27 points in a 133-103 pummeling to the Dallas Mavericks.
“It was a special ride, for sure. And never really get too hyped up on individual streaks or accolades like that,” Curry said.
As a three-time NBA champion, Curry has been to the top of the NBA mountain before and he knows that it takes more than one man going on a hot streak no matter how ridiculous that hot streak is. With that in mind, the Warriors are locked in a play-in tournament spot regardless of what happens over the final games of the regular season.
The Warriors wouldn’t even be sniffing a postseason berth if not for Curry’s unbelievable play. The points and efficiency is fun and exciting but if all that it accomplishes is a .500 record then is it really that noteworthy?
During an appearance on the Rex Chapman Show, Curry was asked if he should be MVP this season. The Warrior’s point guard was blunt in his response.
“I got to be,” Curry said. “I probably won’t get it, but whatever.”
Curry believes he is the MVP and he should. That’s a debatable argument. Until Curry went on his late run, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers was seen as the frontrunner for MVP. Of course, that narrative has changed since Curry has played lights out over the course of the last month and a half. That may be enough to give Curry a nudge to win the best player of the year trophy.
Curry is used to this. He was a back-to-back winner of the MVP award in 2015-16. But back then the Warriors were dominating the league and perennial title favorites. Curry and Thompson were proving to be an unstoppable duo to contend with. Curry’s hot April may have made a stronger case for him to be named MVP this season. That’s because he has made the Warriors playoff contenders.
When the regular season ends, the Warriors will be seeded between the No. 8 and No. 10 slots for the league’s play-in, best-of-three play-in tournament. So all the haters and naysayers speaking out against Curry winning MVP can tuck their tails between the legs and go somewhere and sit down.
Curry’s April was incredible to witness. Now that they’ll be getting at least a two-game extension of the regular season, hoop fans wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance to see Curry do his thing.
“I know we have a lot left in the tank and we want to finish the season strong. But there’s nothing smooth about the climb back to the top,” Curry said.
Featured Image: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline