The gravitational chaos, fulfilled promises, and a peak that keeps going
What can we look forward to in the future? I think Steph works on his range. I mean, in that video, nearly all of the shots are within the W's half of the court; there's a whole other side of the court to explore and stretch defenses to.
Thanks for the excellent article, Duby. Didn't find it until today, but a pleasure to be reading you again.
We all know how good Curry is offensively, but what really impressed me was his defensive improvement this year. I guess his improved physique helped him bully some of these opposing guards while continuing to rely on his always excellent footwork.
He's always been a very solid positional defender, but the increased versatility afforded to him by his improved physique was definitely noticeable.
For all the hand-wringing over Simmons, he still had really really good +- numbers in the playoffs. The big question is would it be possible to accommodate both Draymond and Simmons in the same team?
Even more than the insane playing ability that goes with being the most skilled player of all time, perhaps even more than him being an incredible, humble and likable human being, Steph has one more thing that very few athletes ever have - he is genuinely incredible to watch. He makes a random games against the atrocious, tanking Thunder in April an event because he is Steph. He is worth the price of admission alone. Even this season, where the rest of the supporting cast was subpar (to say the least), Warriors still drew the highest audiences in the league because watching Steph is one of the most entertaining sights in all of sports. MJ and LeBron may be better players (with their combination of insane skills plus athleticism and physique), but is there anybody in NBA history you'd rather have be the face of your team than Steph? With his personality, jaw-dropping skill and incredible success, I would take Steph over anyone.
An article about James Wiseman's rookie season that I would greatly recommend for all Warriors fans - https://kellyroldan.substack.com/p/the-warriors-season-in-review-james
"Gravity 2 - Re-Entry" - Starring Sandra Bullock & Stephen Curry and introducing Space Klay
In the history of bball, one object has commanded the attention of all those on the court, and that's the basketball. Above all things, it has gravity. Everyone orbits it, everyone is drawn to it, it commands the unending attention of 10 pairs of eyes for 48 minutes.
Fast forward. Y'all know the play. Playoffs, may have even been the finals, Warriors fast break, Curry (off ball) flairs to the top-left edge of 3 point line, and lone defender leaves ball handler to defend Curry (who doesn't have the ball). Ball handler drives unimpeded down the lane for an uncontested dunk.
This single play is the very definition of gravity and for the first time a player without the ball in their hands, created gravity that equaled if not exceeded the gravity that is an inherent property of the ball itself. The very threat of Curry at the 3 point line without the ball was now equal to the threat of a wide open dunk. Add to Curry a guy who can get as hot as the sun itself in Klay and you have a standard basketball court that becomes warped like space around a black hole. And this is what made the Warriors who they are. It wasn't all the 3 point shots. It wasn't KD. It wasn't the long wingspans and switch heavy defense. It was the fact that Steph and Klay changed the Physics of basketball by creating gravity without the ball, stretching and twisting opposing defenses like a taffy machine combined with having high IQ players, most importantly Dray, who could exploit the warped space on the court, finding the holes in the defense created by the combined gravity exerted on the court by Steph, Klay and the Ball itself.
This is not a style of play that can be emulated. The combination of Steph-Klay-Dray (aka, Copernicus) is one for the ages. It is a style of play that is reliant on personnel and a coach that understands what the hell is happening when those guys share the court. Offensively, the league has not copied the Warriors. If the league has copied anyone, it's the Houston Rockets: P&R, 3 wide out, drive and kick, hoist the 3s. The Warriors on the other hand, use gravity and sleight of hand to produce higher efficiency shots from anywhere on the floor, not just behind the 3-point line.
In my mind, the Warriors core still has a secret weapon that no other team in the league has, and that is Masters degrees in Astronomy and Physics. Light years, baby. Light years.
Oops, dinner time. tbc .....
Pre-Lottery Notes. Between 2013-2018 (7 years), The Warriors had 6 draft picks including 2 purchased 2nd round picks (McCaw & Bell). Using standard draft value models, the Warriors had the worst draft value in the league, having a total value equal to drafting the 37th pick 7 years in a row. In the same period, Philadelphia had 35 drafts picks, including two #1s, two #3s, two #10s and a #11. Their total draft value for that period (highest in the league) was NINE TIMES the value of the Warriors.
Given that, what team would you rather have today, including picks in the upcoming draft? Curry-Klay-Dray, Wiggs, Wiseman, Poole, Looney, JTA, etc. or Embiid, Harris, little brother who can't guard Heurter, 4th Qtr Simmons and company? Yeah, I believe in the process. ... the Warriors process.
Overrated!!! (haha, joking by the way). Your right, words and stats just can't describe who Curry is, on or off the court. He is one of the rare players that you just have to be able to say you saw with your own eyes, because as the year's pass, the real facts begin to sound like pure fantasy. Bonds, Curry, Montana, Panda, Posey & the entire Giant's pitching staff, China Klay, Draymond stopping 3 on 1 fast breaks defensively routinely .... these are players and moments in sports that defy description.
If I, too, want to become a more efficient shooter, which type of scissors should I be running with?
(I'm thinking of starting with those little Swiss army knife scissors)
"The answer to your question is -- never say never," Lacob told Kawakami. "We will look at everything. We always will look at everything. If something came along that blew us away, all bets are off. But I think it's extremely unlikely.
"I think we're gonna roll with James Wiseman, the emerging Jordan Poole -- [who] turned out to be a great draft choice -- and two lottery picks in a great draft. I think that's a great way to go."
I hope the team is patient in their approach to finding the right way to "maximize Curry's prime". If they can find a good trade in the offseason, great. If not, keep looking and see what comes available at the trade deadline... To that end, it may not be the worst if Minny keeps their pick this year, as an unprotected 1st rounder may actually be a more valuable trade at the deadline than a specific player already halfway through the first year of their rookie contract.
While I wish Curry had a 50/40/90 this past season, the standard was not met. Obligatory: Kyrie sucks.
Nice DDD! I imagine Curry is tough to write about without getting into hyperbole as you said, but loved this take.
As far as any weakness, I’d love for him to take better care of the ball. Those careless turnovers are small potatoes in relation to everything he brings, but one or two of them can make the difference in a game.