Data Dimes: Stephen Curry putting up historic numbers to start the season
Stephen Curry is less than a year removed from an MVP campaign that culminated in the Golden State Warriors’ first championship in four decades. That’s a near-impossible act to follow, and yet, the Curry has found a way to take his game to new heights.
In addition to upping his game offensively with 52.1/45.6/92.3 shooting splits through 12 games, the 27-year-old has been much better defensively. He’s averaging a career-best 2.4 steals per contest; his defensive rating of 97 is also the best he’s ever recorded, according to Basketball Reference.
But those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg for how masterful Curry has been for the Dubs. So for this week’s iteration of Data Dimes, the PointAfter team broke down some of the most impressive numbers the “Baby-Faced Assassin” has posted through the first few weeks of the 2015-16 season.
(Note: All stats referenced through Nov. 17)
Curry has converted a whopping 62 three-pointers already this season. Not only is that tops in the league (and 25 ahead of second-place Damian Lillard), but it’s also besting the output of two NBA teams.
45.6% on 136
His 136 three-point attempts leads the league by a wide margin (you can find him at the far right of the visualization above). Curry is effortlessly mixing remarkable efficiency with sheer volume. He ranks No. 14 in the NBA among qualified shooters in three-point percentage.
His three-point shooting prowess is second to none in the NBA right now. It’s not even a stretch to say he’s the best shooter ever from what we’ve been seeing. But at the pace he’s set, what exactly would his three-point shooting résumé translate into at season’s end?
Additionally, Curry would potentially go from his current standing on the NBA’s all-time list of three-pointers made—tied with Clifford Robinson at No. 37 with 1,253 threes—all the way up to No. 20 (passing Eddie Jones and sitting just shy of Glen Rice). As of Nov. 18, Curry is 1,720 made three-pointers away from Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in the category. If he averages a relatively modest 200 triples per season, he’d overtake “Jesus Shuttlesworth” atop the sharpshooting ranks by the time he’s 36 years old.
Curry is comfortably leading all of the NBA’s elite scorers by pouring in 33.7 points per game.
He’s more than five points per game ahead of four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, who sits second in the category. And although Curry is in unfamiliar territory—having never captured a scoring title himself—his scoring average would be the most since Kobe Bryant in 2005-06 (35.4) if sustained throughout the 82-game grind.
The volume of scoring has raised eyebrows in the early going, and it should, provided Curry’s previous career high in scoring was 24 points per contest in 2013-14. But still, the key ingredient to Curry’s cooking has been proficiency.
The 2015 NBA MVP is scoring 1.56 points per shot. That puts him No. 2 in the Association behind only Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Again, Curry is a ball-handling point guard who is often creating his own looks off the dribble and sometimes shoots from distances that can only be described as mortar range.
Jordan, on the other hand, has converted 40-of-56 field goals, but 17 of those 40 have been dunks, according to NBA Savant. DJ is a tremendous finisher at the basket, but it’s markedly less impressive for him to post a league-high points per shot stat than it is for Curry simply due to the variables involved.
Fans often encourage one another to appreciate greatness before it rides off into the sunset. In this case, they might be more precise telling each other to document signs of alien life on earth, because Curry’s performance to start this season has not been of this planet.
PointAfter is part of the Graphiq network, a data aggregation and visualization website that’s collected all the information about Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors and put it all in one place so you don’t have to go searching for it. Join Graphiq to discover contextually-rich data visualizations spanning NBA players, NBA teams and thousands of other topics.