How Good Would Stephen Curry's Numbers Be Without Blowout Games?
Last night, on national television, Stephen Curry put on a show for the ages.
The reigning MVP (in case you forgot) poured on 51 points and 11 three-pointers in a 134-121 victory over the Washington Wizards in our nation's capitol, making history...
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) February 4, 2016
That's where Chef Curry's performance stands in historical context, but how did last night's performance differentiate itself from the rest of Curry's spectacular 2015-16 campaign?
Easy. He got the minutes.
Every time the Warriors went on a run and pulled ahead by 15 points or so, the Wizards came right back at them with a mini-run of their own to cut the lead to 10 or fewer. Ultimately, that kept Curry in the game as he tallied nearly 36 minutes (35 minutes and 41 seconds, to be exact) in the contest.
That kind of floor time hasn't been all that common for him this season.
|Minutes||Number of Games|
The Warriors' Margin of Victory of 12.67 points per game (second in the league) has made it tough at times for Curry to see the fourth quarter of one-sided contests.
What if Luke Walton and Steve Kerr knew that their star point guard wouldn't get hurt though? What if they knew the only thing that could slow him down was his endurance? What if he played 35-plus minutes a night?
Take a look at the difference.
In the 22 games in which Curry has played at least 35 minutes, he's scored a hair under 35 points per game while remaining true to his outstanding shooting efficiency. That's a decent sample size, but could you imagine what Curry's numbers, from all 47 games, would look like if he played 36 minutes on a nightly basis.
You don't have to.
|Per 36 Minutes||31.8||6.8||5.6|
If those numbers aren't completely ridiculous, just think about this -- behind his 31.8 points per-36, Curry is hitting 5.3 threes on 11.5 attempts, while shooting 51.1% on nearly 21 field goal attempts in that same timeframe. All of that amounts to an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 63.8% and a True Shooting Percentage of 68.2%.
Now, I thought those numbers were just plain filthy, but when I started doing some research through history they got even better.
Of all players who have ever played in at least 40 games in a season and have averaged 25 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds per game, Curry has the highest points per-36, Effective Field Goal Percentage, True Shooting Percentage and three-point percentage.
In other words, he's the only player ever to have done what he's doing in the amazingly efficient way that he has done it. And doing so alongside legends like Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and LeBron James is simply incredible.
Steph Curry is a legend among us.