Curry-Thompson: Best Shooting Pair Ever?

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OAKLAND –
Not the greatest backcourt shooting tandem in the game today. Warriors coach Mark Jackson wanted to be clear he did not mean that. Not even the tempered analysis of having the potential to be the greatest ever.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson form the best pairing of shooters at guard in NBA history. Period.

That the declaration comes with typical Jackson mamma-there-goes-that-statement conviction is not a surprise. He is a pastor at a church in suburban Los Angeles and a former television broadcaster who spoke swagger. That it comes after one full season together as Warriors teammates is.

But Curry just had an electric Game 2 at Denver to tie the first-round series that arrives at Oracle Arena on Friday, Thompson has made  18 of 30 shots overall and seven of 11 from behind the arc, and so Jackson got historical.

Jackson played with Reggie Miller in Indiana. One of the Golden State minority owners and one of the voices in the personnel department is Jerry West, once in the same Lakers backcourt with Gail Goodrich. Jackson played in Utah, site of a John Stockton-Jeff Hornacek pairing.

It didn’t matter.

Curry and Thompson have really only been together one season. They may have been teammates in 2011-12, but the schedule was 66 games because of the lockout and injuries forced Curry to miss 40 of those.

That didn’t matter either.

When Jackson was asked before practice Thursday, the second of two off days before the series resumes Friday night, whether he meant Curry and Thompson have the chance to eventually be the greatest, he said, “They are the greatest-shooting backcourt tandem in the history of the game. They are.”

Better than Miller and Jackson, more of a poke because Jackson will never make anyone’s shooting list?

“We’d be in the discussion,” Jackson said. “But he (Miller) missed too many shots.”

Isn’t there something to be said for playing at an elite level over an extended period of time?

“There’s no tandem that’s done it in the history of the game over 82 games like these guys,” Jackson said. “That’s an extended period. They have a body of work. I think too much is being played of (the topic), but at the end of the day it’s my belief and these two guys are incredible shooters. That can’t be debated.”

So it’s settled. Curry-Thompson, followed by everyone else.

“I’ve been listening and watching and all the reactions,” Jackson said of the discussion his comments the last few days have generated. “You have to understand, I’m not comparing them as a tandem to the greats. But I am saying as a tandem shooting the basketball, to me it’s not even a debate. The closest I came up with that I’ve seen, John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek were two very good shooters. These two guys, when you’re talking about putting all-time greats in a room, they’re going to go in the room and they very well can come out. You can’t say that about any other tandem that’s played. It’s who they are. They were born to shoot the basketball. There’s no other two players in a backcourt together that were born to shoot the basketball.”

The actual pressing issue in the Golden State backcourt is that Curry sprained his left ankle – not the one that required surgery in 2012 – Tuesday night in Denver and is still sore enough that he did not practice Thursday. He said he “maybe” would have been able to play if Game 3 was later the same night and that he “probably” will be ready Friday night.

39 Comments

  1. Denver Fan says:

    Rough em up a bit and their percentages decline.

  2. Jay Hall says:

    Mark Jackson is still a cry baby, just as he was in his playing days. When will he ever grown up. Hey Mark, you went through purberty a looooooog time ago. When are you going to grow a pair.

  3. dennicious says:

    curry and thompson..they are both automatic from the three point line..excellent shooters at guard..
    shooting pair ever? ray allen and rashard lewis, seattle days..

  4. D.Wong says:

    I don’t favor a particular team, however I have to say I really enjoy watching GSW with Curry and Thompson shooting the lights out

  5. jayt81 says:

    Been watching steph and thompson this year and i must agree, given they stay together it’s definitely an argument including them of the best shooting duo. Game 4 was an impressive performance by primarily Steph. Love this kid. The west is starting to open up for new teams with San Antonio and Lakers reaching their final years. Of course OKC is up there but lookout for Golden State, Houston, Portland, Denver, and Minnesota. These teams are definitely on the rise and will keep the west standings, playoffs and finals contenders an interesting conversation for the years to come.

  6. baboy says:

    monta and jennings LOL

  7. digitioli says:

    It’s nice for the players when their coach says something like this. They are good young players, and Curry definitely has a great stroke, BUT give me a break! A bit premature at the very least, a major overstatement at best. West and Goodrich, Frazier and Monroe, Stockton and Hornacek, these guys were lights out for a decade at least, and won some titles. Jackson and MIller, and on and on… Make some when it means something for about 10 years, and then we’ll reconsider…

  8. eisen says:

    ray allen and d wade is the best guards duo

  9. Old School Warriors says:

    Tim Hardaway – Mitch Richmond – Chris Mullin

  10. Earl the Pearl Monroe and Clyde the Glide Frazier. Yup! That’s my dynamic duo.

  11. Isaac says:

    ginobli and parker

    jordan and kerr

  12. Jimmy Mattsen says:

    Ever since I saw Steph play at Davidson, I’ve said he has the best looking shot I’ve ever seen. So glad and happy for him that more and more people agree. And by the times playoffs are done, even more people will agree. Go Steph, and go Warriors. Show the world what you’re made of! #currysbiggestfan

  13. Sintido kumon says:

    But Steph Curry is going to be one of the greatest shooters of all time

  14. Thomas the Great says:

    John Stockton-Jeff Hornacek. Period.

  15. Cosmicman says:

    They may be the best pair of shooters in NBA history but at the end of the day, if they don’t win a championship, it won’t really matter now would it?

    • thatscoldson says:

      This isn’t even a discussion for an NBA Championship. John Stockton and Jeff Hornacek never won a championship either, would you knock them off for never winning a title?

    • SmoothMM says:

      Yeah, it would still matter.

  16. DNfan says:

    @Sentral and @trone wer talking bout best shooters not players.. Curry and Thompson has such a sweet stroke and quick release

  17. religiously says:

    i know there are good back-courts that can get points on the board and score. But we’ve never seen shooters like them in the backcourt.

  18. add says:

    coming from a laker fan, i totally agree. curry is superstar material and they make a great shooting duo

  19. Bryan says:

    I think the closest pair of pure shooters as teammates would have been Dell Curry and Glen Rice in Charlotte.

  20. trone says:

    Nash and Bryant

  21. yakitoko says:

    I call this back court “air strike”!!!!!

  22. AnnoYouLater says:

    both of them got fast release but Curry’s is just ridiculously fast…especially the turn around 3 point shot of his…my god

  23. Sentral says:

    Billups and Hamilton in Detroit were a good back court.

  24. Micheal says:

    Watching Curry and Thompson is extremely exciting and im so glad they made the playoff. They shoot three points with such ease. Remind me of Westbrook ,a terrible shooter who shot 1 out of 7 the last game and he acts like he’s the best shooter in the world

    • FettaFetta says:

      Westbrook is not a “terrible shooter”. If you think that then all you look at is stats and never watch him play.

      • Geowezet says:

        Stats will tell you just that, Westbrook is not a good shooter. Great athlete and good scorer, he takes terrible shots though. Needs to learn about shot selection, especially with 50-40-90 guy on the floor.

  25. Micheal says:

    Watching

  26. CourtJester says:

    ^^ Isiah and Joe were better players, not better shooters.

  27. brizzle says:

    what about isiah and dumars?

  28. Grang Tapes says:

    Curry SHOULD have been in the All Star game.
    Next season hopefully.

  29. Gillsy says:

    The Warriors have snuck up on everyone. The back court has only really been together for a year, The big fella in the middle is just starting to get fit and show his worth. Lee is a all star and Barnes is a veteran in a rookies body. The bench can add a bit especially Jack and they have depth. The biggest thing though they are starting to develop in such a short time is chemistry. Which I don’t really see when I look at teams like the Nets with players that have a lot more experience.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if they are the best NOW, I’m sure that if they stick together they CAN be in the long run

  31. Jimmy jazz says:

    Cant disagree. They have such a quick release!

  32. Patty says:

    STEPHEN CURRY IS A SUPER STAR.

    CURRY& THOMPSON ARE GREAT. WE ARE SEEING GREATNESS WHEN WE WATCH CURRY& THOMPSON!!!

    I ENJOY SEEING THEM PLAY THE GAME OF BASKETBALL.