Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry has played some of the best basketball of his career this season. Curry is a three-time champion and two-time league MVP winner but is arguably having a better campaign than his 2016 MVP season.
In 63 games, Curry is averaging 32 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from the field and 42% from downtown. He has 11 40+ point games this season, with most of them coming in the second half of the season. The Warriors were a .500 ballclub most of the year. In the final few weeks of the season, Curry started shooting lights out and carried Golden State to the play-in tournament.
Stephen Curry’s MVP Case
Curry furthered his MVP case Wednesday night in Los Angeles against the defending champion Lakers in the 7/8 play-in game. The Lakers defended Curry well, yet he still went off for 37 points. The Warriors pushed the Lakers to the limit led by Steph, but the Lakers rallied a furious comeback in the second half.
There’s no doubt Curry has had an unbelievable season. But is he the MVP of the league? Damian Lillard doesn’t think so.
The Athletic’s Sam Amick sat down with Lillard Monday to talk to him about the Blazers’ upcoming playoff series vs. the Denver Nuggets. When asked about how Denver’s injuries will play a role in the series, Lillard responded, “I’m not going into here even thinking about who’s not on the floor because the MVP of the league is on the floor. “
Lillard is referring to Nikola Jokić.
Damian Lilliards’ MVP Case for Jokic
Amick asked if Jokić deserves it. Dame responded,
“I mean, I don’t think he’s missed a game this entire season. He’s been dominating from start to finish. They are the three seed in the Western Conference. The numbers are there. I mean, (it’s) him or Embiid. And I would give it to him over Embiid just because Embiid missed games. He’s been in every game, and he’s performed. Jamal Murray got hurt. Will Barton got hurt. And they kept rolling.”Damian Lillard via The Athletic
Jokić is averaging 26.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, and an impressive 8.3 assists as a center. He is also shooting 56% from the field.
When asked about Curry’s case for MVP, Lillard responded,
“I think Steph has had a great season. Obviously, there has to be a conversation about him being in the conversation. But I don’t think he wins it. At the eight seed, I just don’t see how that works. Last year, it was people like (ESPN’s) Stephen A. (Smith saying) ‘Man, I love what Dame is doing but he can’t be the MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ But last year, I averaged 30 points and eight assists on 46% from the field, 40% from the three-point line, and 90% from free throw. But last year, they’re like, ‘Man, we can’t consider him an MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ For me, that’s the way that I’m looking at it. (Curry) is definitely in the conversation. But I think when you really look at it, and you see that Jokic has played in every game and he’s dominated the way he has, they’ve had injuries with so many guys out and missed games and he’s kept them rolling.”Damian Lillard via The Athletic
The MVP award has always favored the best player on the team with the best record/higher seed. A lot of stars who were considered have missed a lot of time, including Embiid, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and more. One thing’s for certain, whoever ends up winning it will definitely deserve it.