In the NBA superstars are needed to win championships. Very few teams over the NBA’s entirety have managed to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy without having a marquee talent that is head and shoulders above the rest.
Even more so, superstars are needed to be the glue that holds less than perfect scenarios together. For example, a player such as Chris Paul during his tenure in New Orleans, or Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, or LeBron James, arguably every time but most notably, in his earlier Cleveland years. They all had such vital roles in filling in gaps their team had and covering for their teammate’s mistakes.
While it was only one game, the Golden State Warriors did not get off to the best start to begin the 2020-21 NBA season with their game against the Brooklyn Nets. If the Warriors cast surrounding two-time MVP, Steph Curry, can’t play well enough to propel the team to playoffs, Curry may need to take matters into his own hands similar to those superstar players before him.
Yet one analyst already doubts if Curry can and believes this season will “expose” him.
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Nick Wright’s Comments on Curry’s Ability
Fox Sports 1’s sports analyst and First Things First host Nick Wright, who is filling in for The Herd radio show host Colin Cowherd, spoke at length about how Steph “has never had to” pull a team to the playoffs in that manner and has some doubt that it will happen.
I think this year is going to expose — not expose Steph as a player — but expose a part of Steph Curry’s game that a lot of us … have always quietly suspected, but have never been able to see. Which is, all right, we know Steph is the perfect piece on a great team, but can he carry a bad team — not to a championship, not to 55 wins — how ’bout, to the playoffs? If not to the playoffs, to a .500 record?
Steph has never needed to do that — what Russ had to do the year [Kevin Durant] left, or the year KD was injured, what Harden had to do his first year in Houston and the year before they got Chris Paul in Houston — which is be an offense unto himself. Say, listen, ‘Can’t win a title, but we’re going to get to 45 wins-plus, we’re gonna get to the playoffs, and it’s going to be all through me.’ Steph has never had to do that, and what I fear we’re going to find out this year is, that’s very good because he can’t.
Stephen Curry has never needed to carry a team to the playoffs:
"What I fear we're going to find out this year is that he can't… On the 2017 Thunder, Steph could not have done what Russell Westbrook did in dragging that team to the playoffs." — @GetNickWright pic.twitter.com/npBoGCTLvm
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) December 23, 2020
Curry’s Mindset This Season
While there are those who doubt what Curry can do with this team, the superstar has already stated that he firmly believes they can compete with the best of the best.
“It’s going to hard at first, for sure. We’ve been waiting seven months to get back out there,” Curry said. “Not seeing [Thompson] on the court, at first, is going to be weird. But I think we’ve done a really good job in the offseason with James and our draft picks and in the free agency pool to put together a really solid roster. We’re going to have to learn a lot really quickly, and we will need a full commitment from everybody.
“We know we can compete with anyone in the league. It’s kind of crazy. We know how great Klay is. Don’t get me wrong. But we hear the chatter. ‘It’s the end of for us. This year is a wash. What are we going to do in the future?’ But we are in the moment right now. It’s kind of refreshing being in that category as guys that are chasing. We know [the Los Angeles Lakers] are the defending champs. We got to beat them. We’re ready for it.”
They’ll certainly need that belief moving forward as it may be a tough road for the Warriors ahead. Nonetheless, he’s keeping them encouraged just as he recently did with Kely Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins telling them both to not “worry about stats, just keep playing.”
Steph Curry was talking to Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. on the bench tonight, telling them to stay aggressive. "Don't worry about stats, just keep playing."
— Wes Goldberg (@wcgoldberg) December 23, 2020