Stephen Curry’s name would be engraved into the MVP trophy if the NBA is handing out the award roughly a month into the season.
The reigning scoring champ is assaulting the record books with seemingly every game he has played. Curry’s offensive barrage has been so spectacular that his defense has been thoroughly overlooked except by teammates.
In a post-game interview, teammate and former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green raved about Stephen Curry’s defense. Here’s what Green had to say about the two-time MVP (via 95.7 The Game):
“The one thing that has been constant forever is his effort. Like he’s never not given effort on that side of the ball. I think he used to reach a lot. He’d be in a great position and reach and foul.”
He went on to add:
“We just used to harp on him…And now, he’s one of the best defenders we have on our team now and it’s beautiful to watch. When he’s giving the type of effort that he’s been giving on that side of the floor, everyone else has to follow. It’s making our defense that much better.”
Green prefaced that Stephen Curry’s defensive performance had just been disregarded by the media last season. The 31-year-old added:
“It’s not just this season, though. I think it was last season as well. And I don’t think anyone talked about it. I actually mentioned it a few times last year. No one talks about Steph’s defense.”
The Golden State Warriors’ 99.4 defensive rating tops the league by a wide margin. While it’s been Draymond Green and Gary Payton II that have gotten most of the credit, Stephen Curry still hasn’t gotten the recognition he deserves.
Curry is currently ranked in the top 20 in both steals and deflections this season. Given how much of the offensive load is squarely on his shoulders, those defensive numbers are beginning to really shine.
In the Warriors’ drubbing of the Los Angeles Clippers, Stephen Curry had a game-high six steals. Only Paul George, Mikal Bridges and Chris Paul have more steals in a single game this season.
Can Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors sustain their dominance?
With the way Stephen Curry is playing, it seems like only injuries can derail the Golden State Warriors this season. They are playing with the same kind of vibe that past Warriors championship teams played before. More importantly, they are still awaiting the return of two starters, Klay Thompson and James Wiseman.
In each of their championship seasons, their offense behind Curry has been great and their defense has been just phenomenal. The suffocating defense allows them to find ways to win when their shots are not falling.
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When the offense gets going, that defense only gets more energized to totally take opponents out of the game. It’ll be hard to bet against Stephen Curry and the Warriors sustaining their dominance, particularly with Thompson and Wiseman joining the roster soon.
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