Ever see a performance like that one? 54 points on 28 shots. 11 straight threes. Midrange wizardry off the dribble. Driving layups finished with both hands. Perfect from the free throw line. 7 assists playing with a lineup of rookies, washed up vets, and backups. 6 rebounds on a night when they didn’t come easy (Tyson Chandler, 28). 3 steals.
The most efficient, unselfish 54 point game you could possibly imagine, with almost no help on the offensive end. Going against a Knick’s defense geared entirely towards stopping him.
Did it remind you at all of those many 30+ point, near triple double games that Curry put up under Don Nelson? It should. Take a look at that Warriors starting lineup: Biedrins, Green, Barnes, Thompson. Only one scorer, Thompson, and he was terrible in this game. Not a single player to run pick and roll with. It’s not a stretch to compare this lineup to that skeleton squad of D-leaguers that Curry rampaged with 3 years ago.
Did this game remind you at all of the way Curry finished his rookie season, leading that D-league squad to a 7-5 record in the last 12 games? Ending with that 42, 9 and 8 in Portland? It should. Because then, even as a rookie, like now, Curry is the leader of his team. Then, like now, he is beloved by his teammates and coaches alike.
Then, he was leading a team that no one but Don Nelson even believed belonged in the NBA, to victory. Now, he’s leading a team to the playoffs that, quite frankly, has no business even sniffing the playoffs. A team starting the year with three rookies in the starting lineup, and another couple coming off the bench. A team 20th in the league (and falling) in defense. A team with a negative point differential.
Curry played all 48 minutes in this game. On a road back-to-back. After a 38 point performance, and a brawl, against the league’s toughest defense.
In basketball’s mecca. The biggest basketball stage in the world.
As Jim Barnett said — and no one knows better than him, who played in Madison Square Garden on one of the best NBA teams in history: “One for the ages.”
Stephen Curry not an all-star? What a travesty. His talent is as transcendent in its own way as that of the greatest players in the game. Yes, I’m comparing him with the incomparable Lebron James and Kevin Durant. Because like them, his talent is incomparable.
Can you imagine what he could do on an all-star stage?
I’m willing to make this prediction right now. Stephen Curry will be an all-star, health willing, for the next ten years of his career. And this game, on this stage, will be a big reason why. New Yorkers never forget performances like this one. And that’s a lot of votes.
Curry is not a point guard? This performance will probably fuel that argument once again among the ignorati. I say it should do the complete opposite. Stephen Curry is a fine player off the ball, coming off screens for spot up shots. But when you put that ball in his hands, and he plays off the dribble….
He’s a genius.
A roundball Mozart. Thelonious Monk on the hardwood.
Or as Marc Spears calls him, Stevie Wonder.