Monday, January 17, 2022

Analyst serves hot version of Steph Curry’s MVP candidacy

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Without question, Stephen Curry isn’t having the kind of season he’s used to as a shooter. If it weren’t for his injury-plagued 2019-20 season, he would be at a career low on and off the field. However, he was still the point-man for the Golden State Warriors’ resurgent season.

Additionally, he was a popular choice to bring home the NBA MVP trophy at the end of the year. And his numbers speak for the honor.

As of this writing, he’s averaging 26.8 points, 6.1 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. He also still connects 38.4% of his triples, which while below his standard is still well above the league average. Then there’s the most important number — the Warriors’ 30-10 record amid injuries and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Despite all this, Bill Simmons only made a few curious statements about his MVP candidacy.

During a recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, the hoops expert chimed in on the MVP debate. Simmons noted that FanDuel currently has Curry as a favorite to win the award (then a +140 pick), but followed suit with the following rating of Steph’s season:

“I know we entered him as a First-Team All-NBA, but he’s not actually having a great Steph Curry season statistically,” Simmons said.

“My point is he’s the MVP pick but I don’t feel like he’s having one of his greatest seasons. I think his team is successful. But I don’t think he’s going to win the MVP with what we’ve seen in the first 40 games unless he picks it up and goes on one of those Steph streaks.”

As Simmons sees it, Curry has an MVP history, but that may not see him bringing home the hardware.

“Steph won narrative MVP in the first half, but it’s a long season,” Simmons said. “And people get bored with narratives and they make new narratives. We have seen it again and again.”

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Gunfights aside, Curry continues to do things that almost no one else in the association does. As for his raw stats, he’s one of only three players in the entire league who is at 26-6-5-1 or better. The other two are LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Curry is also the most positive player in the NBA from a plus/minus perspective. Golden State has outscored their opponents by 403 points in their 1,290 minutes on the court. Meanwhile, he boasts an otherworldly 19.8 net swing, ranks fourth in the entire league in the VORP (2.9) and is seventh in the box plus/minus (7.0).

And he’s accomplished all of this while being beaten by opposing defenses every night.

Or, as Simmons put it, “I think teams attack him in the craziest ways… He gets mauled every game. He’s almost like a running back where the other team only puts eight players on the line because they know you’re going to be handed off to this guy 25 times a game. Every single possession is a struggle for him.”

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