The (just) 27-year-old Curry, the son of Sonya and former NBA player Dell Curry, has had a career season for the Golden State Warriors who finished as the NBA’s best team during the regular season. Here is what you need to know about Curry and his MVP campaign:
1. Curry Had Stiff Competition for the Award All Season
This season the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks each had breakthroughs and emerged as the best teams in the NBA. Without last season’s NBA MVP Kevin Durant in the fold due to an ongoing foot injury, this year’s MVP race was slightly more wide open.
LeBron James was a usual suspect, but other names such as James Harden, Russell Westbrook and even Al Horford threw their names in the hat for the Award. Westbrook led the NBA in scoring, but the Thunder missed the Playoffs so he was out. James plays with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, so despite a good season — and a slight downgrade in his overall statistics from LeBron’s most recent seasons — he was out. Curry’s chief competition was Harden, but at the end of the day, the Ws historic season could not be overlooked.
2. The Warriors Had to Adjust to a New Head Coach
Last May, the Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson after a disappointing seven-game playoff series loss in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers. The year before, the Warriors upset the Denver Nuggets 4-2 but eventually lost in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs.
Golden State made significant defensive strides under Jackson, but in the end, the organization felt like Jackson was not the coach who could ultimately bring the Warriors through the Playoffs to an NBA Championship.
Kerr had the New York Knicks competing for his services in the offseason, but the Phil Jackson disciple spurned Broadway for the Bay Area, and helped coach Golden State to a 67-15 season.
3. Golden State Set a Franchise Record for Wins in a Season
Those 67 wins were a franchise record and the team performed the best it had in the regular season since Rick Barry led the Warriors to an NBA Championship in 1975.
The Warriors boast extraordinary balance and depth. Curry and Thompson together form the “Splash Brothers,” one of the NBA’s most dynamic backcourts. Andre Igoudala, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green form a potent perimeter defense. Sprinkle in David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Mareese Speights up front and a solid backup veteran point guard in Shaun Livingston, and the Ws were arguably the most well-constructed team in the NBA heading into this season.
4. Curry Is on 1 of the NBA’s Best Bargain Contracts
Before the 2013-14 season started, the Warriors locked in their franchise point guard to a market-level (at the time) contract for one of the league’s premiere pass distributors and shooters. Curry is making $44 million on a four-year contract that runs until the end of the 2016-17 season.
In comparison to other NBA players who usually receive max contracts coming off their rookie contracts, Curry was signed sooner and to what seems like a slight discount in comparison now. Curry’s shooting ability, leadership and contract are why the Ws are so dangerous. He’s the heart and soul of that team.
5. Curry Owned the Regular Season & Has Continued That Into the Postseason
Just how freakishly good was Curry in 2014-15 to warrant the NBA’s Most Valuable Player honor? In 2012-13, Curry broke Ray Allen’s single-season mark for three-point shots in a season. Curry broke his own record this season. He hit 286 three-point shots this season — going 286-for-646, good for a .443 percentage.
Entering the 2014-15 Playoffs, Curry had already averaged 23.2 points for his career in the postseason. Through five games this postseason, Curry has averaged 31.4 points! (Currently leading all NBA scorers).