Stephen Curry has been an absolute monster for the Golden State Warriors this season as they make a push to show they're one of the top four teams in the Western Conference. Curry has played in 50 of the Warriors' 53 games and his improvement from his breakout 2012-13 season have many talking about the Davidson product as one of the best offensive players in the game.
Golden State has benefited greatly from Curry's evolution. He is posting career highs in points, assists and free throw attempts per 36 minutes. Hs assist rate, which measures the percentage of possessions that end with a Curry assist, has skyrocketed to 41.0 percent, good enough to tie him for 79th all time for those playing more than 30 minutes per game and who have played at least 50 games.
This season, Curry has become an all-around great player that doesn't just rely on his three-point shot as a means of gunning opposing teams out of the gym. Surprisingly, Curry's three-point game has been what has suffered the most this season. His mark of 41.5 percent from three-point range, though still excellent, is a three full percentage points below his career average. He's shooting eight threes a game, a move countered only by the fact that his per36 assist numbers are two above his career average.
As a result, Curry's offensive efficiency has remained in line with his career numbers. The discrepancy in his offensive production lies largely in the Andre Iguodala-sized hole left for 12 games this season. Golden State clearly can't function without their starting small forward, who doubles as a secondary ball handler and their de facto backup point guard.
It's not all been assists for the 25-year-old. His two-point percentage and shooting rate have gone up, partly due to his ability to finish around the rim and hit floaters over opposing bigs. It's a new wrinkle to his offensive game, which was already one of the best in the league. Curry's offensive prowess came to the fore against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 31, when he dropped 44 points in a dominant performance and a 95-90 Warriors win.
It should also be mentioned that Curry has posted the best defensive stats of his career, limiting his foul rate and producing a defensive rating of 102. The Warriors also desperately need him on the court; they outscore teams by 8.9 points per 100 possessions when he's on the court and get outscored by seven points per 100 possessions when he's sitting, according to NBA.com.
Curry's health, meanwhile, hasn't been a topic of discussion, and it's hard to see why it should be moving forward. Despite the propensity to hang on to the narrative that Curry is flimsy, the fact remains that he has played in 84 percent of the Warriors' regular season games since 2009. This season, he has been a crucial part of their success and any significant missed time would likely mean their fall from the upper echelon of the Western Conference.
Clearly, Curry has elevated his game to a whole new level this season, adding depth to his offensive game where before many felt he was a one-trick pony. There's no doubt that in 2014, point guard is Curry's true position, and his statistics back up that claim. He's an integral part of their success and their postseason hopes, and his inclusion in the All-Star festivities should further cement his role in the discussion for the best point guard in the league.