The Year of Steph Curry


Curry is not only the league's MVP -- he also could have been its MIP: Curry improved his player efficiency rating by more than any reigning MVP in history. In 1984-85, Larry Bird increased his PER by 2.3 points, the highest increase at the time for a reigning MVP. Curry's improvement: 3.5.

Strong Finisher

During the regular season, Curry dominated in crunch time for the Dubs. He averaged 50.4 points per 48 minutes in fourth quarters in 2015-16, the highest rate since the league started tracking that stat in 1996. Here are the four highest points-per-48-minutes averages in fourth quarters over the past 20 years.

Shooting Star

1) In the lane: Curry wasn't just an elite shooter from 3 this season. He somehow led the league in field goal percentage on layups this season at 68.7 percent (minimum 150 attempts).

2) In the corners: Curry's effective FG% on corner 3s was an eye-popping 71.9 percent, tops among all point guards and third-best in the NBA, behind J.J. Redick (82.5 percent) and Kyle Korver (72.1 percent).

3) From way downtown: Curry made 51.6 percent of shots between 28 feet and the half-court line (47 feet) in 2015-16. The rest of the NBA hit 20.8 percent. Curry made more deep 3s than 10 NBA teams combined.

One-Man Team

Curry nailed more 3s than everyone on the Bucks combined in 2016. Better yet: since Dec. 1.

Legendary Pace

Steph made 39 more 3s over this season and last (688) than Larry Bird did in his 13-year career (649). Curry has hit 107 more in that span than MJ did (581) in his 15 years.

King of Efficiency

Curry's PER of 31.5 was the best for a guard since Michael Jordan's 1990-91 season. And MJ in the Bulls' 72-win season? A 29.4 PER, a sizable gap compared to Curry in the Warriors' 73-win campaign. And Curry continues to get better and better.

Passing Grade

Curry also topped the NBA in "hockey assists" -- defined as passes that lead to an assist -- with 2.5 per game this season. Last season he ranked a more mortal second, at 1.8. Here are the top six players in secondary assists.

Impressive Feat

With $160 million in projected sales, Curry should pass LeBron as the top seller of signature shoes this year, according to Morgan Stanley. And he's on pace to sell more than Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant combined.

United States of Steph

Talk about national appeal! Curry's jersey was the top seller in 47 states. LeBron James (Ohio), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma) and Kobe Bryant (Delaware) are the only players to beat out Curry for No. 1.

Points Off Pick-and-Rolls

Curry doesn't just shoot brilliantly: He also creates plays for his teammates at an elite level, and particularly in the pick-and-roll. When Steph is the ball handler on pick-and-rolls, his points per direct pick are the highest in the league.

Points Off Screens

A word of advice for defenders: Do NOT go under a screen when Curry is the ball handler. Steph's points per possession on such plays is an absurd 1.24, by far the best in the league among players with 100 such chances.

Contested 3 off the Dribble

A double whammy of difficulty, Steph made 200 of these shots (more than 26 teams) and made a ridiculous 42.5 percent of them.

Quality Shot Creation

Quantified shot quality, or QSQ, accounts for shot location, defender location and what type of shot it was (catch-and-shoot, off the dribble, etc.), among other variables. We can use this same metric to identify shots off passes, too, and no player created higher-quality looks for his teammates than Steph Curry.

When Curry passes to a teammate, if that teammate were a league-average shooter from that spot, they would have an effective FG% of 57.9 percent, first in the NBA and well above the league average.