Steph Curry was awarded the 2014-2015 NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Curry’s Golden State Warriors went 67-15 in the regular season, and won the NBA Finals in six games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry set the NBA record for most 3-point shots made in a season, with 286. Curry was voted by the fans to start at point guard for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game. After the season, Curry was selected to the All-NBA First Team, a selection awarded to only the five best players each season.
The reality is that Steph Curry has become one of the best players in the NBA. He has the numbers to back it up, and he certainly has the hardware to back it up. His Warriors have become the best team in the NBA, thanks to a balanced offensive attack and a suffocating defense anchored by Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala. So where did this idea of the Warriors getting “lucky” come from?
The most vocal about this opinion was Doc Rivers, the Los Angeles Clippers’ head coach. In an interview with Grantland, Rivers said, “You need luck in the West. Look at Golden State. They didn’t have to play us or the Spurs.” Rivers is sadly mistaken if he thinks the Warriors didn’t deserve to win the championship. The Warriors had Curry, the best player in the NBA. They had Steve Kerr, one of the best coaches in the NBA, and maybe most importantly, they had the most well-rounded team in the NBA. Rivers later backtracked, but the damage was done.
This season, although it has only been about a week, Steph Curry is playing with a chip on his shoulder. In this clip, you can see the precision in Curry’s pass. The emotion in his face. It’s as if he is telling the world to watch and see for themselves: the Warriors deserve their championship. Also, in this clip, you will notice the Warriors are beating the Memphis Grizzlies by 42 points. These are the same Grizzlies that finished near the top of the Western Conference last season. The Warriors, as you can see, are not messing around.
The Warriors played the New Orleans Pelicans last Saturday. Despite it being Halloween, Steph Curry made sure no one would turn away from their TVs. Curry scored 53 points, the most by any player thus far in the season. 28 of his 53 came in the third quarter, when he completely broke the will of the Pelicans. Those 28 points by Curry were more than the entire Pelicans team scored in the quarter.
Curry and the Warriors will have a chance to repeat as NBA Champions, but there are teams out there that can give the Warriors trouble. The Clippers have fixed their bench. The Spurs, who many thought would be the Warriors’ toughest challengers last year, have added superstar LaMarcus Aldridge to an already deep roster. The Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James, a four-time NBA MVP. The Thunder have Kevin Durant healthy (alongside Russell Westbrook) , and the Rockets have last year’s MVP runner-up James Harden.
This Warriors team, however, should be considered the favorites to win the 2015-2016 NBA Finals. Steph Curry is a man on a mission, and he is taking no prisoners this time around. He’s angry, because his team is not getting the respect that they deserve. With a cast of complementary players and a motivation to prove everybody wrong once again, Steph Curry is ready to take the Warriors back to the promised land. And there’s nothing lucky about that.
*Images from SportsUp365 and ChristianToday.