When it comes to figuring out how a player will perform in the coming season, there’s no better data than the previous season. But what if the data from the previous season is insufficient?
Such is the case for the Golden State Warriors, and a large handful of their most important players. Specifically their most important player: Steph Curry.
Curry’s 2019-20 season got off to a slow start as he adapted to life without Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, and with D’Angelo Russell. After three games he was averaging 24.0 points and 6.7 assists per game, but with 3.7 turnovers and a 26.7% clip from three-point range.
In the fourth game, he had shot just 3-for-11 from the field, and 1-for-7 from beyond the arc when he hit the deck, had Aron Baynes fall on top of him, and broke his hand.
Suddenly the story shifted away from his early season struggles, and onto his upcoming months of rehab and recovery. But we were left to wonder if the extremely small sample size would have held up throughout the season. And in turn, we were left to wonder if we’d seen the last of the Curry who won an unanimous MVP and was the best player on a championship team (arguably three championship teams).
And then he returned for all of one glorious game before the Warriors season was cut short. And in that game — after four months collecting rust, against one of the top teams in the league in the Toronto Raptors — he looked dynamic. His shot still struggled (6-for-16 from the field and 3-for-12 from distance), but he had 7 assists to just 1 turnover, 6 rebounds to just 1 foul, was dishing dazzling no-look passes all over the place, and was engaged defensively.
It was only 27 minutes in a loss for a 15-win team, but it was enough to cause many — yours truly included — to proclaim that he was still emphatically a player that could lead this Warriors squad to a championship.
Now I’ve had half a year to cool off from that take, and ... I still think it’s right.
I still think that Curry, when paired with Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and Kevon Looney, can lead the Warriors to a title. I still think a third MVP trophy could find itself onto the Curry family bookshelf in Atherton.
But it’s fair to wonder. Those first games weren’t great, and Curry will be 33 early in next season. Time comes for every basketball superstar.
I just don’t think it’s coming yet.
How good will Steph Curry be next year?
This poll is closed
Not MVP candidate but still a top-10 player
Not top-10, but still an All-Star