Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are 4-0 on the young season. It’s been an impressive start since the Warriors are still playing without All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, who is recovering from a right Achilles tear.
Warriors fans haven’t seen Curry and Co. in the playoffs since 2019. While it’s a long season, the early signs point to Golden State snapping its two-year playoff drought behind the stellar play of Curry, who is looking to win his second consecutive scoring title and could take home his third MVP Award.
That’s at least what Tim Legler, one of the best shooters in NBA history, thinks.
Tim Legler: Stephen Curry is winning MVP this year
Legler, who is eighth in NBA history in 3-point shooting percentage, told Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Max Kellerman that he believes Curry will win his third MVP this season. The former sharpshooter is so confident in his prediction that he told Johnson to write it down in his notebook.
“It’s a wrap,” Legler said. “Steph Curry’s gonna be MVP. Write it down right now. Steph’s Curry gonna be MVP of the league. Write it down. Go ahead. Put it on the big board. I’ll be here all year. We can revisit it. I’m looking at the team last night. I know they’re not playing a very good team (Oklahoma City Thunder), but I’m looking at the team, I’m going, ‘Look at the Warriors roster.’ Honestly, let’s look at their roster right now. Jordan Poole, Damien Lee, Kevon Looney, (Andrew) Wiggins, (Andre) Iguodala, but look at where he is offensively at this stage of his career. Obviously, Draymond Green does star-like things in what he does. Steph Curry is out there with this group, and they’re undefeated and back-to-back plays that broke the game open, he didn’t shoot the ball, and he had three guys chasing him around that led to wide-open threes for role players. He’s gonna average around 30. They’re gonna be in the top four in the Western Conference. That spells MVP to me with this roster.”
The Warriors defeated the Thunder by a final score of 106-98. Curry had a sound game despite not scoring in the fourth quarter and led his team to a comeback victory
Stephen Curry scored 23 points in 32 minutes
The Thunder led by 11 points at halftime and by 12 midway through the third quarter before the Warriors began chipping away. Curry had 16 points in the first half and seven in the third quarter. He finished with 23 points while shooting 6-of-14 from the field, 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.
Through the Warriors’ first four games, Curry is averaging 29.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists. The three-time champion, who will eventually pass Ray Allen for most 3-pointers made in NBA history, is shooting 43.4% overall and 40.0% from deep.
The only way the Warriors can finish as one of the top four teams in the West is if Curry averages over 30.0 points. It’s unknown when Thompson will return to the lineup, so the Baby-Faced Assassin will have to carry the scoring load for most — if not all — of the season.
Suppose the Dubs clinch a top-four seed and Curry either leads the league in scoring or is close to winning the scoring title. In that case, he can easily win his third MVP since the other players who have high odds to win the award, such as Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James, have multiple All-Stars around them. In contrast, Curry only has Green, who hasn’t been named an All-Star since 2018.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal thought Curry should have won MVP last season. When the Los Angeles Lakers icon asked the Warriors superstar what his expectations were for this season, the future Hall of Famer didn’t mince words.
Steph: MVP type caliber expectation, I always have that
After the Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers, Curry told O’Neal he expects to play at an MVP-type level every night he steps on the court. That’s the mindset all the great players in NBA history have.
It will be fascinating to track Curry’s 2021-22 season. He certainly has the capability to explode for 40 or 50 points on any given night. However, you only win MVP if your team wins games, and Curry learned that the hard way last season when he won the scoring title but didn’t win MVP.
The Warriors have to continue to win games and remain near the top of the Western Conference for Curry to win his third MVP and add to his already incredible basketball résumé.