Insider Explains How Steph Curry Got Better as Warriors Season Went On

Steph Curry

Getty Steph Curry drives the ball in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Steph Curry had a lot stacked against him this season.

The Golden State Warriors star was missing fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who missed the entire season with an Achilles injury. Other key players were lost to injury and health and safety protocol during the season. Many of the supporting players who helped push Golden State to five consecutive NBA Finals were gone as well, leaving Curry to shoulder nearly all of the scoring burden.

Still, Curry managed to hit numbers nearly identical to his unanimous MVP season, and got better as the season went on. As an insider explains, a new approach to the season helped Curry achieve the mark and carry his team.

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Curry Bulks Up

In his season-ending review of Curry’s 2020-21 campaign, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that with Thompson out for the season, Curry became the prime target for opposing defenses.

“But unlike that 2015-16 season, Curry did it without the spacing Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes provide,” he wrote. “With few teammates opponents had to worry about, Curry faced triple-teams, box-and-1 zones, gimmicky presses — anything the opposing head coach could think up to quell him.”

As Letourneau wrote, Curry realized that he would need to take a different approach to this season, so he added close to five pounds of muscle and became more aggressive with the ball, taking it to the rim and finishing through contact.

“Instead of wearing down, Curry appeared to get better as the season progressed,” Letourneau wrote.

Curry had a stretch of 11 consecutive games with 30 points or more in the final stretch of the season, and hit that mark in 21 of his final 24 games. The late-season flourish allowed Curry to take home the league scoring title and helped the team stay within the top of half of the play-in bracket, though not enough to get them through games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies. It was not for lack of trying on Curry’s part, Letourneau noted, as he scored 76 total points in the play-in games.

Big Offseason Ahead

With the Warriors going home early and watching the playoffs from home for the second consecutive season, there is still some major work this offseason for Curry. He passed on the chance to sign a contract extension last offseason, and the team said that locking him down will be a priority this year.

Golden State general manager Bob Myers said the team has faith that the deal will get done.

“When you’re lucky enough to fall into a player like that, in my position, I think you owe it to them to try to win,” Myers said, via CBS Sports. “Those people don’t come along too often with that kind of talent that [Steph] obviously has. So for the last 10 years, that’s what we’ve been trying to do is give him a team that he can win a championship with. … We want to win. Our payroll is not a payroll that would reflect any type of rebuilding. It’s a payroll that’s trying to win a championship. That’s how we’re going to approach it.”

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