How Stephen Curry And The Golden State Warriors Changed the NBA

Stephen Curry and Golden State Warriors Change the game

Basketball is a game that can be played by everyone, Some may be good, other can be great, but only a few players in the History of Basketball has been able to change the game. One good example is Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. If you grew up watching the NBA in the 80s’ to 2000s’ you probably enjoy how physical the game is being played. Big players are truly dominant under the hoop and most of the score came from the paint. Giant players like Shaq, Yao Ming, Malone, Barkley, and others look scary and even scarier to play with. But all this gradually change when Curry entered the league in 2009 as the No. 9 overall pick by the Warriors,shooting almost 40% from three-point range and over 90% from the free throw line.

Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr Standing infront of each other

Steph and Steve Compatibility

During his debut season, Stephen Curry, a slender point guard fresh out of Davidson College, emerged as a strong contender for the coveted Rookie of the Year award. He showcased his skills by averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.90 steals, impressively shooting 43.7% from beyond the arc. While facing some injury setbacks in his early years, Curry’s potential as a scoring threat became evident. Additionally, he forged a remarkable connection with his teammate Klay Thompson, leading to their popular moniker, the “Splash Brothers.”

From 2012 onward, Curry consistently surpassed the 20-point mark per game. However, it was the arrival of coach Steve Kerr in 2014 that propelled Curry into the realm of superstardom. Kerr implemented strategic changes to the Warriors’ style of play, complementing Curry’s exceptional abilities. This transformative partnership not only thrust Golden State into championship contention but also elevated Curry to become one of the premier players in the league.

Stephen Curry looking at the crowd while ball still in Mid Air

Shooting and Ball-Handling

The three-point shot was often deemed too risky for most players, and few teams built their entire offensive strategy around it. However, Stephen Curry changed the game entirely. Universally hailed as the greatest shooter of all time, Curry’s remarkable skills are simply unparalleled. If you’re not already familiar with his career highlights, I encourage you to look them up; his talent is truly astonishing.

Curry’s prowess extends beyond his sniper-like shooting. He possesses incredible speed and exceptional ball-handling, which enables him to create space for himself on the court. Moreover, he constantly moves without the ball, tirelessly seeking openings. His ability to effortlessly shoot from almost anywhere within half court forces opposing defenses to pay intense attention to him. As a result, this attention opens up opportunities for his teammates, allowing them to find open shots or create scoring chances. It’s precisely this dynamic that enables his team to excel even with smaller lineups, a strategy commonly known as small ball.

 

Record Breaking as Team

In the 2015-2016 season, the Golden State Warriors achieved a remarkable feat by surpassing Michael Jordan’s renowned Bulls team to secure the best record in NBA history. Notably, Stephen Curry emerged as the first player to receive a unanimous MVP vote, solidifying his exceptional performance that year. From approximately 2014 to 2019, the Warriors dominated the league, leaving an indelible impact.

Their influence was far-reaching, with numerous teams adopting their three-point-centric style of play. The significance of the three-point shot soared to unprecedented levels. However, the current state of the league seems to be finding a balance, with prominent players now being predominantly big men or forwards. While the era of excessive three-point shooting may have felt overwhelming for a while, it appears that the game is evolving and diversifying.

Picture of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguadola waiting to play

Small Ball Line Up

Draymond Green, Height: 6’6, Position: Center. If someone from the 90s’ see this they will probably have good time laughing, Can’t blame them, right? There’s a very slim chance to be able to make this work. But the Golden State did make it happen. Not once, not twice but they did that 3 times. With more versatility and being able to move quickly compared to the big guys, the Warriors had no problem with small ball line up. But doesn’t end there, the true Lethal Weapon of Golden State was the ability of the players to create a tiny little space and sinks the ball from beyond the ark. Almost all players of Warriors inside the court can shoot three. In 2022-2023 NBA season alone, they shot 3,540, the most in the NBA, and converted 38.5 percent as a team. For all the changes that went on around them, Curry and the other principal architects of the Warriors dynasty remained at the center of everything during this run. Curry was a one-man offense who made everything possible for basically any lineup combination. The Warriors could afford to skew their lineups toward defense – often playing with three non-shooters in Green, Payton, and Looney all on the floor – and still magically find their way to high-value shots.

The Golden State Warriors have undeniably left a lasting impression on the basketball landscape in recent times. Known for their fast-paced style and efficient three-point shooting, they have become trendsetters in the sport. As a result, numerous teams have sought to replicate their triumphs by adopting similar strategies in their own gameplay.

Moreover, the Warriors’ success has been exceptional, boasting multiple championships and establishing records for regular season victories. While critics contend that the team’s emphasis on offense and three-pointers has detracted from the essence of the game, proponents argue that the Warriors have merely pushed the boundaries of what basketball can achieve, injecting a heightened level of excitement into the sport.

Ultimately, the Warriors’ impact on basketball is subjective, varying depending on individual perspectives. Regardless, their influence on the game remains undeniable, leaving an indelible mark on how teams approach and perceive the sport.

 

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About Mathew Reynolds 100 Articles
Mathew Reynolds is a seasoned sports writer with over a decade of experience in the field. His commitment to factual, passionate, and in-depth sports journalism has earned her a loyal following of readers who value his unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and the genuine love he holds for the world of sports.