If there was a team that completely caught fans and opposing teams by surprise last year, it’s got to be the Golden State Warriors.
Despite being the underdogs, they knocked out the Denver Nuggets–who were expected to defeat the Warriors with ease before David Lee was hurt and forced to the sidelines–in the first round. Additionally, the Warriors were a mere two points shy of taking a 3-1 lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the second round.
The driving force behind the Warriors’ run was none other than Stephen Curry. Surprising coaches all around the league who snubbed him in last years’ All-Star game, Curry averaged 26 points, 7.4 assists, four rebounds, 1.7 steals and had 4.1 3-pointers made per contest on 46 percent from beyond the arc in the final 30 games of the season.
Like his team last season, Stephen Curry may seem like a dark horse for the 2013-14 MVP, but he could certainly surprise the league by propelling the Warriors to a top-three seed in the West and garner the MVP award by the seasons’ end.
Apparently, LeBron James is the prohibitive favorite as MVP heading into this season; however, the likelihood of him winning his third straight MVP award is slim. The league stopped Jordan from winning the award for three consecutive years– twice. Thus, the door is now marginally more open for players such as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Curry to claim the trophy.
Although he stays inbounds during games, it seems as though Curry has a penchant for going beyond the limits of expectation. Noted as one of the best scorers of his draft class and criticized for being a “shooting guard in the body of a point guard,” Curry surprised scouts with his willingness and ability to facilitate in addition to his shooting prowess.
He made history last season by draining a record 272 3-pointers. He was also the only player in NBA history to dish out 500 assists while making more than 200 3-pointers. His artful passing displays are the reason why he’s been ranked in the top 15 among all active players.
Last season, Curry averaged a career-high of 6.9 assists per game. The sky is the limit for 25-year-old Curry, who has not yet reached his prime (hopefully Curry doesn’t launch himself out of the Earth’s atmosphere). Look for him maximizing his immense potential heading into the new season.