Curry’s On The Rise And Dubs Following


VIDEO: Stephen Curry finishes incredible, off-balanced layup against the Bucks

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Something BIG happened Thursday in the third returns of All-Star fan voting regarding the Western Conference backcourt.

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry overtook his Los Angeles Clippers counterpart Chris Paul as the No. 2 vote-getter. Paul is regarded almost unanimously in the basketball universe as the top quarterback in the game today, yet the fan vote positions Curry to start ahead of him at the 63rd All-Star Game in New Orleans on Feb. 16.

On the verge of making his first career All-Star appearance — whether it’s as a starter through the fan vote or he earns the nod of the Western Conference coaches who left him off as a reserve last year — Curry surged past the wildly popular CP3 and leads him by some 26,000 votes heading into the final stretch. Fan voting ends on Jan. 20.

Paul likely won’t be able to play anyway because of the separated right shoulder he sustained a week ago in Dallas. There’s no telling how the injury might have shifted would-be Paul votes to Curry. But it’s reasonable to think it made no difference at all. Kobe Bryant has played in just six games yet has garnered more votes by a wide margin than all West backcourt candidates. Chicago’s Derrick Rose is third in the East despite playing in just 10 games.

Perhaps Curry got a bump from overseas fans or maybe the Warriors faithful is stuffing the ballot box at Oracle Arena and online after he trailed Paul by nearly 52,000 votes after the second returns and almost 66,000 after the first. Or maybe we’re just witnessing a young, incredibly exciting player on a meteoric rise to stardom. Still, his surge past the incumbent Paul is astonishing.

All-Star starting spots don’t just pop free. Players are often entrenched in starting roles for years. Paul has been selected to six consecutive All-Star Games. He’s started the last three and four of the last five with only Steve Nash nabbing the spot in 2010. Before Curry captured the world’s imagination with breathless playoff performances, he finished eighth in last year’s fan voting. Paul was named the All-Star Game MVP, and he’s having another terrific season.

Yet suddenly, Mr. Assist is taking a back seat to a player some call the baby-faced assassin.

This is big for Curry and the Warriors, who for most of their existence have languished in mediocrity and far off the radar of NBA fans beyond their own long-suffering devotees. They produced mostly bad teams interspersed with entertaining ones that still never accomplished much. Some caught lightning-in-a-bottle like Don Nelson‘s 2007 bunch that he dubbed “schmoes” during their upset of No. 1 seed Dallas.

Think of this: Curry’s Warriors, barring a major catastrophe, are headed to the franchise’s first consecutive playoff appearances since 1991 and 1992. They went from 1995 to 2006 without making the playoffs once. In 2011-12, Curry played in 26 of 66 games due to injury. The Warriors won 23. Last season he played in 78 and the team won 47. This season, his fifth, Golden State (24-14), having withstood an early injury bump, is on pace to crack 50 wins for the first time in 20 years.

Curry delivers undeniable star-power and brand-power at a time when the franchise finally means business under the well-heeled and opportunistic ownership group headed by Joe Lacob. Curry makes the Warriors must-see TV and a target on every free agent’s wish list. That was witnessed last summer with Golden State’s late entry into the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and their signing of free-agent forward Andre Iguodala, a vital addition that has helped a team with an explosive offense now rank fourth in defensive rating behind only Indiana, Chicago and Oklahoma City.

With Curry, anything seems possible. The Warriors are a percolating franchise and a Western Conference contender at this very moment, and for the foreseeable future. The impending move into a sparkling, waterfront arena in San Francisco (as much as I personally hate to see the team leave the East Bay) will strengthen the franchise’s profit margin and transform it into a “big market” club that chases top free agents and willingly steps into the luxury tax when applicable. Golden State is on the NBA map.

If Curry, 25, finishes second in fan voting and is a starter in his first career All-Star Game, he will have earned the popular vote through performances that almost seem mythical. He’s averaging career-bests of 23.1 ppg and 9.4 apg — blowing away last season’s career-high of 6.9 apg. While his shooting percentages (44.0 percent overall  and 38.9 percent on 3s) are actually career lows, and turnovers (a career-worst 4.2) continue to be an issue, he’s taken on more responsibility than ever and is the go-to gunner and leader of a team with growing aspirations.

Yes, Curry is on the rise, and he’s taking the Warriors with him.

And that’s BIG.

17 Comments

  1. Frankie D says:

    What does it matter anyway what team record you have if you are one of the best players than you are one of the best players. Just as simple as that. You cant play all 5 positions at the same time. It does not matter if you win 10 games or 65 games a year if you are dominating the opposition than that should be who makes it to the All-Star game. That is not fair and the rules should be changed THE BEST SHOULD PLAY that is why its called the ALL-Star game not the MOST POPULAR game.

  2. Frankie D says:

    Cris Paul is not a better basketball player than Curry I dont care what anyone says . He is a better point guard and leader I give him that. But Curry is a better offensive player maybe defensive as well but its close. The thing that seperates their greatness is that Paul can only play point , Curry can go 2 or 1 and is the best shooter arguably in NBA history and I don’t know how a player who is arguably the best shooter in history gets a maybe type of vote for All-Star it is rigged and Curry should have been in the previous years.

  3. Steve baker says:

    Sid Lacob…In all due respect Joe Lacob didn’t bring the spirit to win to the warrior’s…He hired some great basketball people around him to make great decisions…and he is spending the money necessary to make the warrior’s contenders for years to come. Great job, but don’t forget players play the games.

  4. jim says:

    Sid Lacob – thanks for your son. He’s been great.

  5. tv63 says:

    Don’t laugh Cavs fan here but I’m telling you Warriors WILL be in Western Conference Finals as long as they stay healthy. Good For Curry He deserves the recognition as he did last year too!! He’s absolutely a Beast!!

  6. zaxg says:

    yes it is very true that out bench isn’t the best but they are still pretty good. Harrison barnes, draymond green, mo sprights, toney doglas,kent bazemore plus the great defense in festus ezeli when he comes back. plus jermaine is good at both D and O and is a reliable backup Center. we don’t have a fill lineup and were raping. imagine how it’ll be when we are fully healthy. We can win the championship!

    • just hold on there a minute says:

      As much of a GSW fan as i am, even i know they’re a ways off being Championship material proper. For starters, they rely too much on, and run far too many plays through Curry. You have noticed that when teams that have won against the Warriors trap him effectively in double team situations, that weakness is shown exactly for what it is. When the Warriors have been consistently good, they rotate alternate plays through: Lee, Bogut & Thompson. So essentially, GSW have to make the alternate play scheme – using Curry to draw doubles (as a decoy), pretty much always in order to win and make it to the Promised Land of the NBA playoffs. The bench *does need* reinforcing. Jack and Landry were big losses to the 2nd unit. Now if the front-office can make some serious moves to strengthen the bench with a backup PG/SG/SF (like Jack) and SG/SF (like a Landry), then i’ll take your Championship talk seriously.

      • hold on another second says:

        As much of a GSW fan as you claim to be, you really don’t know what positions Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry played for them..

  7. Shaun says:

    Warriors have great chemistry and something special going on right now. Curry should be an all star. David Lee is now in a grove and playing like an all star. Iguduala addition has been great. We do need more bench depth. If this years team had Jarret Jack and a healthy Carl Landry that would have been something

  8. mortished says:

    Curry > Parker > Paul … that’s how the hierarchy should be in the west ! Paul is playing for himself not for his team

  9. Sid Lacob says:

    my son Joe Lacob will not brag about himself but under the circumstances I WILL!! His life is the warriors ! He not only turned this franchise completely around but has created an undeniable spirit to WIN!! You can see it in the team,feel it in the fans and it is growing in the people who watch the games around the country.The critics will have their say but who cares……thats life. Sid Lacob

    • and Good Sir says:

      You can be justifiably proud of what he’s done to turnaround GSW as an organization. Excellence breeds excellence in elite sports .. your son seems to have discovered the rare ingredients & formula needed to make it all happen. Go GSW!!!

  10. okc2014 says:

    Curry deserves to be an All-Star; effective last year. It almost seems like he got more votes by default this year (due to Kobe and Paul injuries). Who’s been voting for Kobe? He’s out!

  11. jimmy jazz says:

    And some people questioned the warriors giving him 4yrs at 11m per yr

    • Not anymore they ain't says:

      Curry could ask $17M-$20M / yr and probably get it from any team with the cap space.

  12. jim says:

    It’s not big news to Dubs fans or, judging from the number of yellow jersies on a recent road trip, hoop fans in general. Of course he’d like to be there, but BIG would be a title this year to him.

    He didn’t make it last year due to a sports-rich media-poor Bay Area environment. I don’t think your average Dubs fan cares that much; we know how good he is and where we want to be.

  13. slider821 says:

    Curry and the starters can only take the Warriors so far…the bench needs to step up or they won’t make it far in the playoffs.