Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group warned early last week that Curry might not reach the 400 3-pointer mark, but the key section of his article was this: "...all it takes is a couple of 3-point explosions. Two games with eight, he's right back in the mix. Knowing Curry, he could have three or four more of those in him."
So yeah, after shooting 28-for-45 from beyond the arc last week (62.2%), Curry entered this week at 378 for the season and on pace to break the 400 threshold if he "only" hit 5.5 per game this week — given that he averages 5.1 per game this season, this is amazingly not even much of a stretch.
Curry is at 385 three-pointers with 3 games left— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) April 8, 2016
Does 400 really matter? As in, if he hits 399 would he have somehow failed at his calling of being a superhuman life form? Of course not. Let's be honest: until Curry came along, 300 seemed unattainable. So no, there's no statistical value to crossing the 400 threshold.
But put that aside: FOUR HUNDRED THREES?!?!
Don't overthink it — just saying 400 is more fun than 399.
In seriousness, the number of threes Curry ends up with doesn't really even matter as much as the way he has gotten there. Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post put it best, writing today that, "...what stands out more than anything is the sheer preposterousness of his shots, and the rate at which he is sinking the most far-fetched of them. The circus has become an every day, consistent event. In one stretch he hit a mind-expanding 67 percent between 28 and 50 feet."
As of today, Steph Curry — who won last season's MVP award — has 99 more threes than last year with three games left to play. He's shooting a career-high 45.6% from beyond the arc on a career-high 844 attempts.
If you're looking for evidence to support Stephen Curry being 2016 NBA Most Improved Player, the gaudiest quantifiable example of "improvement" — maybe in the entire NBA this season, possibly in recent memory — is Curry's pursuit of 400 threes after already shattering his own single-season 3-point record twice in the previous three seasons.
This is just not real, folks.
To put those threes in perspective, Klay Thompson — his All-Star backcourt mate — has 268 threes with three games left, more than anyone else in NBA history...except for Curry. Together, they've been mind-bogglingly prolific this season. AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today pointed out that Curry and Klay Thompson have the most combined threes in a season for any pair of teammates ever. Kelly Scaletta of Today's Fastbreak added an interesting elaboration on that point: "...there's a very realistic chance that they could hit more threes than any group of five teammates in NBA history."
Curry & Thompson: first pair of teammates with consecutive 40-point games in same season since English & Vandeweghe, 1982-83 (@EliasSports)— GSWStats (@gswstats) March 28, 2016
However, even more impressive when considering the MIP argument for Curry is what he has done inside the 3-point arc. Ben Alamar of ESPN added to the case for Steph as MIP by describing how he has also developed his inside game by getting better looks for himself, which has helped him score at a better rate than a number of bigs. It might not be enough to impress Oscar Robertson, who reminded us that Oklahoma's Buddy Hield is more versatile than Curry, but those scoring numbers are impressive.
Grandpa bothering people in line ahead of him at Walmart again https://t.co/Hw2RwEfCNr— Amin Elhassan (@AminESPN) April 2, 2016
What might actually impress The Big O is Curry's passing numbers. As ESPN's Kevin Pelton described earlier this year, Curry is not only obliterating conventional wisdom about the inverse relationship between usage rates and efficiency, but also charting new territory by distributing the ball so well while doing all that.
By increasing his 3-point volume without sacrificing accuracy, Curry has defied the usual inverse relationship between usage and true shooting percentage...Then there's the matter of how Curry's shooting opens up the floor for his teammates because of the defensive attention he draws, a concept I call "gravity."
When Tom Haberstroh used SportVU data to quantify gravity, Curry had the highest respect rating from defenses in the league in 2013-14. That's only grown with Curry now a threat to pull up anywhere on his team's side of the midcourt stripe. Just by setting foot on the court, Curry makes life easier for his teammates.
When you add up all those factors, the question isn't really whether Curry is having the best offensive season ever, so much as whether anyone else is even close.
Curry has helped to completely re-define offensive basketball. And if that's not enough, his defense has been noteworthy too: last week, Coach Nick of BballBreakdown added some ammo to the Stephen Curry for MVP argument that nobody is really questioning at this point by highlighting his defensive ability (h/t Stephortless for the FanShot).
When you look at the whole package, Curry has made a leap unlike anything we've ever seen before, from MVP to destroyer of worlds. As Warriors fans, it's easy for us to feel that we're watching something absolutely remarkable right now, but as Pelton described, there's a reasonable case for Curry having the best season ever earlier this year.
We can debate where Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry stands among the NBA's all-time greats, but he is indisputably nearing the end of one of the best single individual seasons ever. Will he even hit 400 threes? Who knows, but the creativity, experimentation, and innovation he's showcased this season will be something the neither we the fans nor the opponents that he's been so lethal to will forget.
So even though the season isn't quite over — there's plenty more work to be done — BreakingT is offering up a t-shirt to help us commemorate this incredible season.
We all know he needs a new nickname to stick. And after reading our discussions in the comments of FanPosts written by BornInDaEB and Pin Tsan (click here and here) earlier this season, BreakingT set out to make a shirt based on the most popular nickname for the reigning MVP: Chef Curry.
I hate to quote Drake...so I won't claim it's a reference to that. Instead, I'll refer you to this song by MC Ayesha featuring Chef Curry.
To purchase the t-shirt, check out BreakingT's product page.