The only thing more captivating this NBA season than watching the Golden State Warriors catch the Michael Jordan’s 95-96 Chicago Bulls for the best regular season record are the nightly shooting exhibitions put on by the Warriors leader and reigning MVP Stephen Curry.
At only twenty-seven years old, Curry had one of the best individual regular seasons in history. This season, the reigning MVP averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists and 5.4 rebounds per a game, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 45.4 percent from the three-point line and 90.8 percent from the free throw line. By keeping up his ridiculous stat line throughout the entire season, Curry became the seventh player in NBA history to make 50+% from the field, 40+% from 3-point, and 90+% from the free throw line for an entire season.
Even while sitting out of the fourth quarter in 18 of the Warriors 73 wins, the MVP favorite improved his scoring average by 6.3 points a game after averaging 23.8 ppg last season in route to his first career MVP. The jump in scoring average is unprecedented, as it currently represents the biggest jump in scoring average by a reigning MVP, demolishing Larry Bird’s current record of 4.5 ppg.
When you combine the record-breaking rise in scoring average, joining the 50–40–90 club, and the Warriors breaking the record for most wins in a regular season, it’s easy to see why some people believe Curry should become the NBA’s first unanimous MVP and Most Improved player in the same season.
Curry recently tried to put it in context on his own.
“Obviously, they’re numbers that I’ve worked for and tried to elevate my game to that level,” he said. That 50-40-90 club, that’s something that I find pretty special. To be able to shoot volume and accuracy and all that kind of stuff, that’s something that’s why I shoot all the reps that I do, and go out and play the way that I do.
Unfortunately for Warriors opponents, Curry is in a zone many basketball purists didn’t even know existed until this season, and he doesn’t seem to be coming out of it anytime soon.
Since the All-Star break, Curry scored 30 points or more in 17 of the Warriors final 30 games including 46 in the season finale.
As a result of averaging five made 3-pointers a game this season, the reigning MVP broke his own NBA single-season mark for 3-pointers made; with 402 made this season. The record is even more impressive when you consider the fact Curry broke the record he sat just last season in only 58 games.
“I want to be great and I want to be the best I can be,” Curry said. “And I think I’ve found a way in these last couple years to just keep getting better and keep doing little things that you might not see in the summer and in the off days that really helped my confidence when I’m out there on the floor.”
If everything continues going right for Curry and the Warriors, we could be watching the best single season for a team and an individual player.