Golden State Warriors: Can Stephen Curry Become A NBA Superstar?


Stephen Curry has the proverbial tools to become a superstar, but something has always stood in his way. He’s battled injury, he’s a bit small and his defense is below average. With those faults in mind, can he be a superstar in the NBA?

There’s no arguing that Curry is already a star in the NBA. One look at his stat line will tell you that. He’s a terrific shooter (albeit he’s down a bit this year), he’s a good rebounder for his size, he passes well and he’s solid in playing the passing lanes.

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2009-10 21 GSW NBA 80 77 36.2 6.6 14.3 .462 2.1 4.8 .437 2.2 2.5 .885 0.6 3.9 4.5 5.9 1.9 0.2 3.1 3.2 17.5
2010-11 22 GSW NBA 74 74 33.6 6.8 14.2 .480 2.0 4.6 .442 2.9 3.1 .934 0.7 3.2 3.9 5.8 1.5 0.3 3.1 3.1 18.6
2011-12 23 GSW NBA 26 23 28.2 5.6 11.4 .490 2.1 4.7 .455 1.5 1.8 .809 0.6 2.8 3.4 5.3 1.5 0.3 2.5 2.4 14.7
2012-13 24 GSW NBA 21 21 37.2 6.9 15.9 .431 2.8 6.4 .433 3.6 4.0 .893 0.6 3.4 4.0 6.5 1.7 0.0 3.0 2.8 20.0
Career NBA 201 195 34.3 6.6 14.1 .468 2.1 4.9 .440 2.5 2.8 .900 0.6 3.4 4.0 5.9 1.7 0.2 3.0 3.0 17.8
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/11/2012.

Health is and will always be one of his biggest issues. After two healthy seasons, Curry suffered through an ankle injury that caused him to miss  significant time. It should go without saying, but ankle and foot injuries are devastating to a basketball player.

One thing that makes Curry so good is his ability to shoot so quickly. He learned from his dad, Dell Curry, and has become excellent at firing before the defense has time to recover. That skill covers up a lot of flaws.

Curry isn’t a burner by any means. He’s not going to win a footrace against John Wall or Derrick Rose in his lifetime. Teams press him coming up the court because he’s not a wizard handling the ball.

However, his shiftiness and ability to create just enough space to fire is what makes him so dangerous. Check out this film from the Warriors vs. Bobcats game on December 10th that shows Curry scoring in different ways. Notice how he doesn’t blow past defenders, but he’s so wily that he gets them off balance enough to get open shots.

In that video, we also saw that Curry doesn’t have to be set in order to rise up and make shots. That’s another extremely valuable tool in his offensive toolbox. He can create for himself off the dribble and can be somewhat off balance himself when he shoots. Not many players are good at doing that.

The mark of a true superstar is how they would fare on another team. If you put Kevin Durant, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant on another team, they would still be dominant forces and would continue to produce.

The question with Curry is whether he could play in a different type of offense, or if he’s simply successful because of the Warriors’ style of play. In college at Davidson and with the Warriors, he’s allowed to be the centerpiece of the offense.

Curry has the green light to fire at any time. He’s smart enough to know when to get his teammates involved and does it quite well. As the best player on his team, he should be taking the most shots.

Is Curry a superstar? We’re going to answer that by showing you his numbers over his last eight games.

39.7 MPG, 23.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 8.1 APG, 2.0 SPG, 45.1 FG%, 51.7 3P%, 89.7 FT%

If those aren’t superstar numbers…and the Warriors are 7-1 during that stretch.

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Tags: Golden State Warriors NBA Stephen Curry