Stephen Curry is still one of the best players in the NBA right now, but his stats have dropped off a bit since last season. He's averaging about five points less, his shooting percentages are down and stats in other areas are slightly decreased as well.
This has led many to say Curry isn't playing as well as last season, which is kind of unfair. Curry had one of the best offensive performances in NBA history a year ago, so it's only natural his numbers will decline. The team also added former MVP Kevin Durant, which takes some of the pressure off Curry.
The Warriors guard realizes all of this, and he's fine with it. But he has a bit of an issue with the naysayers.
"I think it's comical that people were saying I'm having a down year," Curry told Bleacher Report. "To go black and white and say I'm not having as good a season as I was having last year based on just five points a game or shooting percentage or whatnot … there are other things that you try to do other than just the eye test to try and help your team win. This year has taught me that, for sure. The accolades and the attention and all that stuff, the hype is cool. But it's really how you feel about your own game."
Curry won't be winning MVP this season after being the first-ever unanimous winner of the award in 2016. But that doesn't mean he's playing poorly. He still has 302 3-pointers made this season (and counting) which is second in NBA history only behind himself last year. His 25.2 points per game would also be a career high were it not for his 30.1 average last season.
More importantly, he's grown as a playmaker for the offense as a whole. The Warriors have an offensive rating of113.2, which is higher than last season. They also currently have a 12.1 net rating, which is the highest in the NBA's database, which goes back to 1996-97.
Curry said it's unfair to compare some of his numbers from a year ago because he's doing different things.
"With the roster that we have and adding a guy like KD, there's obviously going to be more of a balanced attack," Curry told Bleacher Report. "It's pretty clear how that's kind of evolved over the course of the season. My job as the point guard of this team is to balance all the talent that we have, plus at the same time staying aggressive with my own game."
Since March 1st, the Warriors are -2 with Steph off the floor, +16.2 with him on and they have a 100.1 defensive rating.
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) April 4, 2017
He's done just that, becoming a better floor general by getting his teammates more involved. He'sleading the league in plus-minus (12.5), which is a bit of a biased stat, but still impressive. He also has a career low 3.0 turnovers per game (aside from his shortened 2011-12 season), which is something Steve Kerr emphasized out of his guard.
“Once Steph figured out that he had to take care of the ball, that three turnovers is fine, six is not, and he started getting superefficient rather than just explosive,”Kerr said on Bill Simmons' podcast in February. “[That’s when] our team changed.”
Most of Curry'snumbers are down from last year, or recent years, but they're still among the elite of the NBA. He's evolving his game and benefiting the team, because at the end of the day, wins are all that matters. And sure, the Warriors don't have as many wins as last season, but the team is still better as a whole, and Curry is a big reason why.