Golden State Warriors superstar point guard Stephen Curry is the best shooter in NBA history. However, the two-time MVP shot only 24.5% from beyond the arc in five games last season and is shooting 32.1% from deep to start the 2020-21 campaign.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who routinely hits 3-pointers from way beyond the 3-point line, knows why Curry is struggling to shoot the ball lately.
Stephen Curry is no longer playing on a superteam
After Kevin Durant left the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson tore his left ACL in the 2019 Finals against the Toronto Raptors, the Warriors’ superteam swag went out the door. Stephen Curry, who only played in five games last season due to a broken hand, is playing with many unproven players in 2020-21.
While Curry still has Draymond Green in the fold, the former Defensive Player of the Year is the only All-Star teammate Curry has this season since Thompson is missing his second straight campaign with an Achilles tear. Andrew Wiggins has All-Star talent, but he hasn’t been able to put it together with the Minnesota Timberwolves or Warriors. Moreover, Golden State’s biggest acquisition this past offseason, Kelly Oubre Jr., is off to a historically bad start with the Dubs. The lefty is shooting 4.0% from beyond the arc.
The Warriors could miss the playoffs this season despite the brilliance of Stephen Curry. The three-time champion is averaging 26.4 points per game, but Golden State is 2-3, and the team’s three losses have come in blowout fashion.
Damian Lillard knows why Stephen Curry is struggling from deep
Damian Lillard and the Blazers defeated Stephen Curry and the Warriors by 25 points on Friday at Chase Center. While Curry poured in 26 points in 33 minutes, he finished the game 4-of-12 from distance. Meanwhile, Lillard put up 34 points and shot 6-of-10 from 3-point land.
Curry isn’t getting quality looks from beyond the arc without Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson next to him. Lillard says that is one of the reasons the Warriors star is struggling with his shot this season. Opposing teams can focus on Curry even more since Golden State doesn’t have anyone else on the roster to stretch the floor.
On top of his struggles from beyond the arc, Curry is shooting 42.0% from the field. The six-time All-Star has always been one of the most efficient players in the NBA, as Curry is a career 47.6% shooter from the floor. The Warriors legend, though, is finding out this season just how difficult it is to get off good looks when there’s zero space on the floor and no All-Star scorers around him.
Damian Lillard has two high-level scorers next to him in C.J. McCollum and Carmelo Anthony. For the first time in his career, Dame finally has more help than Stephen Curry, which is why the Blazers will most likely have a better season than the Warriors.
Warriors may not win another title in the Curry era
Stephen Curry turns 33 in March, Klay Thompson has torn his ACL and Achilles, and Draymond Green will be 31 in March. It’s quite possible that the Warriors won’t win another title during the Curry era, which began in 2009.
The Western Conference is stacked from top to bottom. While Curry may still be the best point guard in the West, the last two seasons have shown how valuable Thompson is to the Warriors’ success. Maybe Golden State can return to the promised land next season once Thompson returns to the lineup, but the shooting guard will have missed two years and is coming off two serious injuries.
With that being said, there is no guarantee that Thompson is going to be his old self once the 2021-22 season starts. As a result, the Warriors may be a shell of themselves for the rest of the Stephen Curry era.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.