The Golden State Warriors ran away from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday evening. Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and firm saved it tight for a half, buying and selling buckets and runs and leads, and trailed by simply 5 with seven minutes to go the third quarter regardless of capturing simply 40 % from the sphere, thanks partially to capitalizing off Golden State’s still-lingering penchant for live-ball miscues.
And then, the tumblers lined up and the gears clicked into groove, and it was over. A 21-6 run, within the area of 5 minutes, with Klay Thompson going nuts, JaVale McGee working rampant and Stephen Curry setting the desk. By the tip of the third quarter, the lead was 19, and that was that. Even with out Kevin Durant, sitting to nurse a bruised left thigh, the Warriors simply hit the gasoline and run away, leaving a very good crew within the mud in a 24-point win. It’s what they do.
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With Thompson scorching and the second unit swinging, the Warriors had no want for Curry’s companies within the closing body, thanks partially to what the chef cooked up via three quarters: 22 factors on 7-for-16 capturing, six extra free throws as he continues to hunt contact, eight rebounds, eight badists and two steals in 30 minutes of labor.
The efficiency was par for the course for the two-time Most Valuable Player, who has quietly — effectively, as quietly as a two-time MVP enjoying for the NBA’s finest crew can do something, I suppose — put collectively a reasonably monstrous begin to the season.
Through 12 video games, Curry’s averaging 25.four factors, 6.5 badists, four.eight rebounds and 1.eight steals in simply 32.5 minutes per recreation, which might be his lowest workload since his ankle-injury-shortened third season. His Three-point share is down — 38.9 % on 9.four makes an attempt per recreation, numbers 98 % of the NBA would homicide to have, however that appear positively pedestrian contemplating what he’s put up previously — however he’s attending to the road on the highest charge of his profession, and knocking in almost 94 % of his freebies. Aside from the occasional forays into the type of wildness that makes Steve Kerr wish to snap clipboards, he’s additionally turning the ball over on a decrease share of his crew’s offensive possessions than ever.
Curry leads the NBA in win shares, ranks fifth in Value over Replacement Player, and sits seventh in Player Efficiency Rating, in keeping with Basketball-Reference.com. The Warriors have outscored their opponents by 174 factors in his 390 minutes this season, far and away the very best plus-minus mark within the league this season, and for an terrible lot longer than that if it holds up:
Stephen Curry is plus-174 this season. That’s plus-14.5 per recreation. Long option to go, however that’d be the very best plus-minus mark of the last decade. (I’m not going again additional than that.)
— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) November 9, 2017
In consideration of how persistently and calmly wonderful Curry’s been in all part with out placing up any unbelievable particular person video games — nothing greater than the 37-on-17 pictures he put up towards the Memphis Grizzlies, which, admittedly, is fairly nice — Dieter Kurtenbach of the Bay Area News Group requested Warriors ahead Draymond Green after Wednesday’s win if he thought his teammate was “peaking.” (He’s not the primary one to ask that query, both.)
Green, you’ll be surprised to study, had a noteworthy response.
“Peaking?” Green instantly responded as quickly as he heard the phrase.
“His numbers are crazy,” Kurtenbach mentioned.
“Are they?” Green replied. “I’ve seen crazier. However, he’s been enjoying effectively. But yeah, I’ve seen him do far more. Peaking? That’s simply ridiculous to say. God. Advanced numbers? Peaking?”
“I thought it was the best offensive season ever two years ago,” Kurtenbach mentioned.
“Yeah. But peaking, although?” Green continued.
“He’s plus-14 a game,” Kurtenbach mentioned.
“Plus-14. Like, his plus-minus?” Green mentioned. “I think he had the highest plus-minus in a season in NBA history.”
“Yeah, and he’s going to beat it,” Kurtenbach replied.
“All right. ‘Peaking.’ That’s just ridiculous to say, bro,” Green mentioned.
While Kurtenbach’s level is effectively taken — “Even though he has personally played better, in my opinion, the threat of Curry has never been greater,” he wrote after his presser began to make the rounds — it’s simple to grasp why Green would bristle on the suggestion.
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I imply, he averaged 30 factors, 6.5 badists and 5 rebounds per recreation on 50/45/90 capturing splits for a full season two years in the past, frequently authoring performs and performances that may’ve represented career-highlight materials for many stars, and earned the primary unanimous MVP award in NBA historical past. And, “down year” claims apart, he wasn’t far off that degree of manufacturing after Durant went all the way down to damage and in final yr’s postseason. It’s not that right now’s Steph isn’t wonderful — it’s that we’ve watched him be virtually unbelievable earlier than, and for very lengthy intervals of time.
So, no, Draymond’s not shopping for that that is Steph’s peak. And Curry — who joked, “That means it’s over after this year,” as he took the rostrum after Green — thinks he’s bought room to develop, too.
“I mean, I try to get better every year. Obviously, that’s the mission,” he mentioned. “That’s what we’re all attempting to do. Nobody needs to be content material on this league. Nobody needs to simply be the identical participant. You use all of the experiences you’ve had all through your profession to place that formulation collectively.
“I’m blessed to say I’m healthy. I’ve got great teammates, great organization, great momentum over the summer that I was able to build off of,” he mentioned. “And yeah, I’m feeling pretty good.”
Curry has used his experiences — hovering success, crushing disappointment, sacrifice for the nice of the crew, rising again to prominence for a similar — to achieve a place of energy, achievement and all-time excellence. Everything that he’s carried out, and that he’s doing, is about not solely remaining at that degree, however persevering with to rise. It may be laborious for us to see how a lot greater he can go, however that doesn’t imply he doesn’t really feel compelled to maintain climbing.
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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter!