Two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry just rewrote the record books again. He burst into the Top-10 ‘all-time 3-point shots made list’ in the game against the New York Knicks on March 5. In doing so, Curry displaced Chauncey Billups from the list.
Earlier in the month, Curry went past Kobe Bryant, who with 1827 three-pointers was 11th on the all-time list before Curry surpassed him. The mind-boggling thing, though, is that while Bryant and Billups took 48,637 and 33,008 minutes respectively for their career 3-pointers tally, Curry required only 19,305 minutes in the NBA to break into the Top-10.
Say that again, but Curry made it to the league’s Top-10 career three’s list in just under 20,000 minutes of NBA action. To put Curry’s achievement in another perspective, if he were to play 46,344 minutes, the time taken by Ray Allen to make his 2973 3-point shots to take the numero uno position on this list, the Golden State Warriors’ All-Star guard would end up with 4400 career three-pointers. That would be a clear 1427 three-pointers better than Allen.
Breaking records is not new for Curry. He made 402 three-pointers in the 2015-16 season, a new NBA record, which was an improvement on his own 286 three-pointers from the 2014-15 season. In 2016-17, Curry has already made more than 200 three-pointers, which make him the first NBA player to knock down 200 three-pointers or more for five consecutive regular seasons since 2012-13. In November 2016, Curry also broke the NBA record for most 3s in a single game, when he torched the New Orleans Pelicans with 13 long range bombs.
Curry has changed the way the game of basketball is played today. More NBA players and more teams shoot the three-ball with increasing frequency and as a way to augment their offence. The only difference is that Curry alone has the consistency while shooting at a high volume. Among the players on the all-time Top-10 list, Curry has the best 3-point shooting percentage, going just under 44% percent for his career tally. Ray Allen, meanwhile, had a 40 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc while Bryant was a 32.9% shooter from long distance.
For the 2015-16 season, where he finished as the first-time ever unanimous league MVP, Curry also became a member of the 50-40-90 club. This unique stat is for players who have averaged a shooting percentage of 50% from the field, 40% from the three-point line and 90% from the free throw line over an entire NBA season. Previous players who have nailed this statline include some very eminent names like Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant. However, Curry hit the landmark while shooting more than 45% for his 402 three-point shots in the 2016-17 calendar. Only Nash before him had shot more than 45% from the 3-point line while achieving the 50-40-90 distinction. However, Nash had fewer attempts (381) for his 179 three-pointers (47%) in the 2007-08 season than Curry had for his 3s.
Yet for all these accolades and achievements, Curry is under pressure. The naysayers have been pointing to a decline in his shooting efficiency and scoring average this season, never mind that Curry is still better than most in this league.
More importantly, the injury to superstar team-mate Kevin Durant, which is likely to keep the Warrrors’ forward out for at least a month, means that Golden State may drop a few more games than anticipated before Durant’s injury. The Durant situation definitely puts Curry and some of his other team-mates like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green under pressure to ensure that the team don’t cede homecourt advantage through the 2017 Playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs, who are just a few games behind them at the moment. This, however, could work to Curry’s advantage. If he emulates the same form from last season over the final stretch of this season, the Warriors could well hold onto top spot, which may be decisive in the post-season from a homecourt advantage perspective. Curry would probably relish the challenge. Just like he loves breaking records!
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