Is This The Best Version Stephen Curry That We’ve Seen?

Golden State Warriors superstar, “Steph” Curry is currently in the midst of a historic run that has the entire basketball world talking. The 33-year-old point guard has recently gone on a stellar hot streak, that has made him only the 10th player in NBA history to average 40 points over an 11-game span.

In his most recent outing on April 19, Curry put up 49 points (14-28 FG, 10-17 3-pt FG), three rebounds, and five assists on the Philadelphia 76ers, who currently hold the top record in the Eastern Conference. The game marked Curry’s fourth game with at least 10 three pointers made, since April 12. This season alone he has six games with 10+ threes made, while no other player in league history has more than five of these games in their entire career.

This remarkable run poses an interesting question that no one expected to ask this year; Is this the best version of Stephen Curry that we’ve seen in his 12-year NBA career?

Before this stretch, Curry’s peak was inarguably his 2015-16 season, when he was named the first unanimous league MVP, after a historic season. However, it’s now time to revisit that historical season to see how this current run matches up to his previous accomplishments in 2016.

Stephen Curry’s 2016 Season

Averages: 30.1 PTS, 6.7 AST 5.4 TRB, 50.4 FG%, 45.4 3PT%, 90.8 FT%, 79 games played

Steph Curry’s 2015-16 season is often credited as the season that revolutionized the sport of basketball. Due to his ability to shoot from behind the arc so efficiently, basketball players all over the world have modeled their games after Curry by working on their three point shots. Following that season, the NBA has seen a significant rise in three point attempts per game, mostly because of what he was able to accomplish that year.

Along with winning his second straight league MVP award, Curry also shattered the previous NBA record of most threes made in a season of 286, by making 402 in 2016. Shockingly enough the previous record of 286 was set by Curry himself in 2015.

Curry also became the 7th player to join the 50-40-90 club, which is an exclusive unofficial statistic that tracks basketball players who shoot high percentages over an entire season (both in the NBA and WNBA). The numbers he put up that season also came while he sat out for a majority of the season’s fourth quarters due to his team’s high win margins.

Along with Steph’s individual accomplishments, the Golden State Warriors themselves made history as a collective group. In 2016, the Warriors set the NBA record for most wins in a season at 73-9, with Curry at the helm. Despite losing the 2016 NBA Finals in a seven-game series to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Warriors steamrolled the entire 82-game regular season and Stephen Curry had one of the best individual seasons in league history.

Stephen Curry’s 2020-21 Season

Averages: 31.4 PTS, 5.9 AST, 5.5 TRB, 49.1 FG%, 43.1 3PT%, 92.2 FT%, 50 games played

This season Steph is averaging a career high 31.4 points per game, largely due to the significant rise in his averages over the past two weeks. Curry missed all but five games last year due to a broken hand which he suffered in the opening weeks of the 2019-20 season, but this year he came back as the Steph Curry we all know.

With his backcourt teammate, Klay Thompson being sidelined again this season due to a torn achilles, Steph was expected to carry the biggest offensive load of his entire career. The Warriors currently have a 29-29 record that will more than likely land them in the Western Conference play-in tournament next month. Curry has absolutely been carrying this team in most of their wins this season, and he is doing his best to will the Warriors into the NBA playoffs. These past 11 games mirror what he did back in 2016 if not better, and he has reminded everyone that he is still the best point guard in the NBA.

Final Verdict 

Although Stephen Curry has been absolutely phenomenal this year, his 2015-16 season is still the best basketball he has ever played. His statistics this season are almost identical to his unanimous MVP season, but the historical records that he broke that year are the difference maker. Even prior to this current stretch, Curry was having a great NBA season, but his averages are a bit inflated because of what he is doing right now. In 2016, he did things close to this level but for the duration of the entire season. It can be argued that this year he has been more impressive due to the lack of talent on this current Warriors roster, but it can also be said that he would’ve been even better back then if he didn’t have Thompson to help shoulder the load.

Even though he might’ve been slightly better five years ago, this has clearly been the best stretch of Curry’s entire NBA career. His will to win and be the reason why his team either succeeds or loses, is exactly why he is one of the legends of the game.