Basketball

2021 MVP Race: Where is Stephen Curry?

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The 2021 MVP race is close, currently, the KIA MVP ladder has Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Luka Doncic in the top three.

The name that is surprisingly not being brought up enough in the discussion has to Stephen Curry. Curry has been having one of the best individual seasons of his career but it doesn’t get the same respect as an Embiid’s season or the respect Damian Lillard was getting before the All-Star break.

The two-time regular season MVP has been playing at an elite level this year and deserves more respect for this.

Why Should Curry Be in the MVP Race?

MVP means Most Valuable Player. Who is more valuable to their team than Stephen Curry?

Curry is averaging a career-high 31 points, a career-high 5.6 rebounds, and 5.9 assists this season. He is averaging 20.8 attempts from the field a game, the most he has ever averaged in a season.

He needs to take more shots now as well, to carry this Warriors side as far as they can go. He is attempting 12 threes a game, another career-high, whilst shooting 42.7% from beyond the arc.

He averages 43.4% for his entire career so perhaps people just see this as the standard for Curry. Just because Curry can shoot like this every season doesn’t make it any less impressive.

Without Curry, the Warriors record is 1-7, showing how important he is. Their only win came when Andrew Wiggins dropped 40 points against the Memphis Grizzlies.

When you take him out of the Warriors, they are one of the worst teams in the league. That definitely should give him more respect in the MVP race.

For example, when Draymond Green and Curry weren’t playing, the warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors by 53 points. The Raptors had lost 13 out of 14 games prior to that win.

They even led the game by 61 points at a point. Whilst on Kevin Durant’s podcast, Green said: “Steph didn’t play, I didn’t play but that’s still never an excuse to be down 60 points in any NBA game.”

We’ve seen the Philadelphia 76ers win big games without Embiid, like against the Lakers at the end of March. It is definitely an argument that Curry is the most valuable star for his team this season.

The fact that he has got the Warriors to the ninth seed, and in the Play-In tournament should be significant to his place in the MVP race.

MVP Race: Curry’s Standout Games

Since the All-Star break, Curry has been averaging 34.4 points. He has also scored 30 plus points in 10 straight games. He was already playing at a high level and has stepped up even further in the second half of the season.

Before the All-Star break, Curry was already having a great season which included a career-high 63 point performance. Arguably, Curry’s most impressive performance since the break was against the Denver Nuggets.

He led the Warriors to a win against one of the best teams in the NBA and dropped 53 points in the process. He also hit ten threes that game.

It was also a historic performance for Curry as he passed the great Wilt Chamberlain and became the Warriors’ all-time leading scorer.

Another big game for Stephen Curry in the MVP Race

Another big game he has had is when he led to Warriors to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks, another great team in the NBA.

The Warriors won 122-121 and Curry’s 41 points were a big reason for the win. Another great game that shows he should be in the MVP race.

He shot 50% from beyond the arc (5-10) and 66.7% from the field (14-21). One of the most impressive things from this game is the big plays Curry made down the stretch.

Warriors were down seven until Curry made a two-pointer with three minutes and 13 seconds left. He then cut the lead to two, with a big three-pointer.

With a minute left he also extended the Warriors lead to three making the score 120-117.

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Jokic has played every game this season, so it’s hard to argue against his consistency. The Sixers are also the first seed in the East with most of that being thanks to their best player Embiid.

However, Curry’s season shouldn’t be overlooked just because others are having a great season, he definitely deserves to be acknowledged as high up in the MVP race.


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