Sometimes, after watching these guys play for so long, you forget that it’s pretty tough to throw a round ball into a flat goal that is perched ten feet off the ground. It’s even tougher to toss it in from around 24 feet away, just inches past the NBA’s three-point line.
For Golden State Warrior guard and MVP candidate Stephen Curry, apparently this is no such trifle. From the Associated Press:
ESPN reports that Curry made 77 consecutive 3-pointers following Tuesday's practice. Curry says it's the most 3s in a row he has ever made. He also says he made 94 of 100 shots during the session.
After most practices, Curry rotates around the perimeter as assistant Bruce Fraser feeds him the ball. He typically takes 10 shots from several spots and often goes around the arc twice.
Curry, a leading candidate for league MVP, already has surpassed his own NBA record for most 3-pointers in a season. He enters Wednesday night's regular-season finale against Denver with 284 3-pointers.
Via Pro Basketball Talk, here is a bit of video:
Teammate Klay Thompson, who is second in the NBA with 234 made 3s, told ESPN he couldn't believe Curry had made 77 straight and that his own record streak is 36.
That’s Klay Thompson, the guy who scored 37 points in a quarter, and his personal best is less than half of Curry’s top mark.
Mind you, we’re in April. Stephen Curry played for Team USA last July and August, his season started in October, and he’ll likely play in his 80th game of the season on Wednesday night as the Warriors finish their regular season, vaulting past 2600 minutes on the season along the way. Of course, because the Curry-led Warriors are so fantastic, he’ll probably skip on playing the entire fourth quarter for the 20th time this season.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Curry is guaranteed to lead the NBA in three-point makes and attempts for the third straight season. He’s currently shooting 44 percent from long range, right in line with his career mark, in a league where the average (even in these perimeter-heavy times) is 35 percent. Unless something goes awry, he will finish his career as the best shooter in NBA history. At his current rate, his combination of volume and efficiency won’t even make it much of a close race.
Ankle injuries hamstrung Curry’s postseason production two seasons ago, and knocked him out of over half of 2011-12; which is why it was somewhat alarming to see Curry working relatively big minutes in games for the Warriors this month – as the W’s long ago wrapped up their Conference’s best record, and the top record in the NBA. Still, rookie coach Steve Kerr has done well to monitor his point guard’s minutes, and a healthy Stephen Curry entering the playoffs working in an offense that isn’t muddled with outmoded isolation sets is going to be a wonderful thing.
The Warriors have endured some odd hiccups this month, nearly blowing a game to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday and actually watching as the league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves competed well against the squad a few days before, but this is what tends to happen when you lap the competition. The Warriors currently rank first in defensive efficiency and second in offensive efficiency heading into the final game of the season, one that could see them finish with 67 wins – tied for the fifth-best mark in NBA history.
Curry, the best player on the best team and likely 2014-15 MVP, clearly has his stroke down. And the NBA is about to do some wonderful things in the upcoming playoffs, mostly from 24 feet away.
- - - - - - -