Golden State Warriors: Comparing Stephen Curry to Chris Paul


November 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors shooting guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

How does Stephen Curry match up with the NBA’s best point guard?

Earlier in the year, the Golden State Warriors could have had to face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs, which at that point, seemed more desirable than the Denver Nuggets who were on a rampage and a 13-game winning streak.

The Clippers had dropped three of four games to the Warriors, which ended the year 15-15. They didn’t have a great finish, but they got eliminated after the Clippers in the playoffs.

The Warriors had some great success against the Nuggets, and somewhat against the Spurs, and that was all thanks to Curry, one of the best young point guards in the NBA. He also happens to be the best shooter in the NBA right now, with the most 3-point shots made in a single season. It doesn’t really make a difference that Kyrie Irving, who’s not known for his 3-point shooting capabilities, won a silly contest during All-Star weekend.

Nevertheless, Curry could have the potential to be as good as Chris Paul someday, but unfortunately for Curry, he hasn’t yet destroyed Paul’s moral or defeated him in any significant way.

He had that chance this year, but it slipped away as the Clippers slipped in the standings.

May 14, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts against the San Antonio Spurs in the second quarter in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT&T Center.

1. Points:

In terms of scoring, Curry is one of the best in the NBA. Paul isn’t that type of player. He’s more of an assist guy who can really do his damage in that category. Still, it’s hard to stop those beautiful floaters.

Unfortunately for him, however, he doesn’t have that beautiful 3-point stroke. Curry claims the victory in this division.

2. Assists:

Other than Rajon Rondo, Paul is the best at distributing the basketball to get his teammates involved. He looks to assist first, and most of the time, he knows how to get a clever pass to Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan for the huge slam.

He is the mastermind behind all of the Clippers’ offense, and if they lose him in free agency, it’s going to be tough for the Clippers next season. There’s no doubt that Paul has the advantage in this area.

Curry is averaging just 6.9 assists per game, while Paul dishes 9.7 assists.

3. Turnovers:

A point guard usually has the most amount of turnovers per game, but even when Paul decides to get a little fancy, he knows how to stop and stay under control.

Especially when it matters, Paul doesn’t turn the ball over. In the regular season he averaged 2.3 turnovers per game, and in the playoffs, that number went down to 1.5.

As for Curry, the same cannot be said. The Warriors are a team that struggles with turnovers, and Curry — at 3.3 turnovers per game in the regular season and 3.1 in the playoffs — isn’t helping them protect the basketball.

Paul is better at taking care of the ball.

4. Steals:

Apr 3, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) attempts to steal the ball from Phoenix Suns guard Diante Garrett (10) during the third period at the Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Phoenix Suns 126-101. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Can Curry compete with the steals leader? Sure, he knows how to pick the pockets of big men and get in the passing lanes, but the difference between him and Paul is that Paul takes more risks.

Curry doesn’t take these risks because he’s not quick enough to get back to his man.

Paul understands that it’s high risk, but high reward. He knows how to stay focused after failing to intercept a pass. Paul averages 2.4 steals, while Curry averages just 1.6.

Paul wins again!

5. Rebounding

It’s not a point guard’s role to rebound, but sometimes, they just do it so well. Unless we’re talking about LeBron James, most of the players that have triple-doubles are point guards and they’re doing that with rebounding, not steals.

Paul is averaging 3.7 rebounds, while Curry averages 4.0. He won that category.


There is no doubt that Stephen Curry and Chris Paul are among the league’s best point guards, but for now, Paul holds the edge in the side-by-side comparison.