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Steph Curry looks fully energized

The MVP isn’t going anywhere, and neither are the Dubs.

Steph Curry rubbing his hands together against the Lakers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Golden State Warriors two-timelines approach. One timeline is the star-studded veteran core, some of the most accomplished trophy hunters in NBA history. The other timeline is the youngsters who are trying to prove their worth so that the dynasty can extend in a way that would make Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick nod in grumpy recognition.

And then smack dab in the middle, with their long arms reaching out to hold hands with each timeline, are Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney.

It’s almost comical. Just look at the ages of the Warriors who are under contract for next season, assuming Donte DiVincenzo opts out (almost certain) and Draymond Green opts in (my prediction).

34 — Steph Curry
32 — Klay Thompson
32 — Draymond Green
27 — Andrew Wiggins
26 — Kevon Looney
23 — Jordan Poole
21 — James Wiseman
20 — Jonathan Kuminga
20 — Moses Moody
20 — Ryan Rollins
19 — Patrick Baldwin Jr.

That’s three distinct groups. The dynasty, the future, and the bridge.

I applaud the Warriors for how deftly they’ve assembled the two timelines. 2020-21’s “not chasing wins” own goal of a season notwithstanding, they’ve balanced the two with masterful precision and nuance.

But sometimes we forget something pretty important. It all exists because of Curry. It all matters because of Curry. It’s all gone without Curry.

That goes for both timelines. If Curry is not STEPH CURRY on this current squad, the Warriors don’t win a championship this year. They don’t even compete for one. They don’t even consider competing for one.

And the scarier news that we don’t need to worry about yet, is that if Curry is not present and STEPH CURRY™ in the second timeline, they’re probably not competing for one, either.

So it’s good news that Curry looks like STEPH CURRY™ right now.

Not that I was expecting anything different. Curry was at or near the top of the MVP conversation a year ago, before injuries and rest kept him out of 18 games. He’s still elite, and there’s no reason to think that will change anytime soon.

But there’s a difference between elite and energized. There’s a distinction between magical and motivated.

And on Tuesday, in the Warriors Opening Night win over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Chef looked to be not only dripping in talent, but ready and waiting to kick it up a gear this season.

Curry will help the second timeline grow this season, but he was anything but deferential in the 123-109 victory. He took matters into his own hands repeatedly. He attacked the rim relentlessly — with and without the ball — earning nine trips to the charity stripe. He danced on defenders with equal parts arrogance and refinement.

Not bad for someone with a shortened offseason who will turn 35 later this season.

I don’t want to make any grand proclamations after one game, but there sure doesn’t seem to be a championship hangover with Steph, or even a blip in which he takes his foot off the gas for a few seconds.

And the Warriors go where Curry goes. They arrive where Curry takes them. If his foot’s on the gas, everyone’s foot’s on the gas.

Just because we’ve come to expect it doesn’t make it any less important: Curry looks ready to win another championship, and that’s the biggest takeaway from Tuesday.

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