Hot Take: Is Stephen Curry the Best Point Guard of All-Time?

Stephen Curry has been tearing up the NBA playoffs since Kevin Durant went down with a devastating calf injury. Many analysts and members of the media had counted the Warriors out, and they also had called out Steph for being “overrated” or “not good in the playoffs”. For some reason, analysts have always created this narrative that Steph is poor in the playoffs, but in reality, he is still the same amazing player. Steph averages 26.3 points per game on 45.2% percent from the field, he splashes 4.3 threes a game on 40.5% from three-point range, he also dishes out 6.3 assists a game and he also grabs 5.4 rebounds a game. I know Steph will have his bad games, but who doesn’t? A couple bad games shouldn’t define ones legacy.

More than a Shooter

Steph has always been known as one of the greatest shooters of all time. What if I told you that he was also one of the best finishers as well, under the rim that is. Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving are two of the NBA’s premier finishers inside the paint as point guards. Steph has a better two-point field goal percentage and field goal percentage within 0-3 feet from the rim. Westbrook has a two-point field goal percentage of 46.5%, and within 0-3 feet, his percentage is 58.8%. Irving shoots 49.8% from within the three-point arc and from 0-3 feet, he shoots 60.6%. Steph makes 51.4% from two-point range, and he makes 64.6% from 0-3 feet. He is noticeably better from both stats than two of the most prolific finishers. I’m not taking away anything from these stars, but I’m showing that Steph is much more than a shooter.

Still the NBA’s Best Shooter of All-Time

This is an obvious part for the article. Steph is the best shooter of all time. You know this is true when past players say this because their favorite things to blurt out are that in their day, the NBA was better. But they downright admit that Steph is the best shooter of all time. I don’t think there is much debate either. He shoots a scolding 50% from the corner three for his career. He boasts an 43.6% from behind the arc and he makes 3.6 a game for his career. He is also second overall in the record for most threes in a game with 13. Oh and he also holds the record for most threes in a season with 402. If I could somehow capitalize numbers, I would! He has 2,483 threes made for his career in ten seasons. Reggie Miller played eighteen seasons, he has 2,560, and Ray Allen played eighteen seasons, and he made 2973 threes for his career. Steph could possibly break that record in seven fewer seasons. The point is, Steph is the best shooter of all time.

Behind the Back?!

If you have been watching the NBA for awhile, then you should remember Steph’s costly turnover in game seven of the 2016 NBA finals. Behind the back to Klay Thompson, out of bounds. It was a heart breaking moment that ultimately shattered the Warriors hopes of winning the series. Fans who don’t watch the Warriors as often as me may be surprised by a play like this, but for fans who do watch, this happens all too often. The Warriors as a whole love to spice things up by making a flashy play to give the offense a spark. If this pass goes through and the Warriors hit the three, maybe they win. But the point is, Steph is still human, and is prone to mistakes like these.

Still, Steph is an effective playmaker that averages 6.6 assists a game for his career. He only commits 3.1 turnovers a game which is actually not too bad. James Harden averaged 5.7 for a season in 2016, and Russell Westbrook averaged 5.4 turnovers a game in 2016 as well. So it could be much worse. Given, those guards are much more ball dominant and they run the offense a whole lot more than Steph. He has a assist to turnover ratio of 2.12, which is okay. Magic Johnson, who is one of the best passers of all time, had an assist to turnover ratio of 2.87. Which is better than Steph. But Steph’s calling card has never been passing, it has always been about scoring the ball. As a modern day point guard, they are responsible for running the offense, as well as scoring when needed. Steph will never be the best playmaker of all time, but if I have him running my offense, I feel very confident with him running any kind of offense.

Switching to Steph

It is no secret that teams try their best to switch onto Steph on the offensive end. He is clearly the weakest defender on the Warriors. By no means does that mean Steph is an automatic bucket. Steph is a decent defender, his main problem is his hands. He loves to reach. This post season has exposed this weakness at times. He reaches and gets into foul trouble early. This could force the Warriors to sit him early and lose their best offensive weapon for the half. And also causes him to lose any kind of rhythm he was in. This has always been a problem with Steph on the defensive end.

It also helps that Steph is usually much smaller than the other players. So LeBron James and Harden both switch onto Steph and easily get to the basket. They’re too big and too strong for him to stop them. Even with these qualities, I still think he is an above average defender. It does help immensely that Steve Kerr is very good at hiding Steph on the defensive end. With that being said, Steph is rarely out of position on defense and is a decent off-ball defender. He is able to attack the passing lanes for a quick steal or cut off an easy lane. But most importantly, he knows his role on defense. He doesn’t try to do too much and take on the opposing teams best offensive player. He knows his place on defense.

Is Steph the Best Point Guard of All-Time?

The question we have all been waiting for, is Steph the best point guard of all-time? It depends on your definition of a point guard. I wholeheartedly believe Steph is the best point guard of the modern era. I believe point guards need to control the pace, and control the offense. If that means passing, then pass, if that means shoot the ball, then shoot the ball. In Steph’s case, scoring the ball and controlling the offense is what he does best. That even counts as being an emotional and calming leader. He is a very good leader, you just see it in the way he talks about his teammates. But seeing him run around and score is much more exciting for other players because you see him working hard for each bucket. He’s sort of leading by example.

Steph has everything you’d want in an offensive player in the NBA. He’s able to score inside and out, he’s able to impact the game being a screener, or even a passer. Steph also has some of the best ball-handling in the NBA that could impact the game in a big way. It could emotionally get the rest of the team excited and get the Warriors some easy buckets. Steph is also, for some reason, an incredible screener. He is able to set some great screens which also falls into leading by example category. Maybe his defense and passing aren’t up to par with some of the NBA greats, but there is little to no answer on his offense. He is one of the most difficult players to guard in the NBA, and he does this as a 6’3 guard. Magic Johnson was 6’9 when he dominated the NBA, Oscar Robertson was 6’5 when he averaged a triple double, and Jason Kidd was 6’4 when he got DUIs he was a top playmaker.

This point is Stephen Curry is the best point guard for the modern era. He is able to impact the game in a physical and mental state. If you see a 6’3 guard hit heavily contested threes at the end of the shot clock, it could kill a teams moral or stop a huge run. Steph has been the key to every Warriors team. He is the heart of the offense, he is what makes everything tick. Draymond definitely helps because he’s such a great playmaker, but Steph being able to take on any defender and make them look absolutely silly, is huge for any team.

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